Mon. Feb. 15, 2021 – winter is here!

Cold, cold, cold.  Windy and cold.

22F at 1am when I got to bed.

Spent Sunday running around getting ready.   Details are pedestrian, and in the comments late yesterday….

We’ll see how today goes and if the forecast changes much.   I will probably add to what I’ve already got in place, and run the gennies just to be sure.   I might get some of the heaters set up too.  I’ve got a couple of Mr Heater Big Buddy heaters in the cabinet, and I have the hoses and filters to attach the BBQ bottle.  I should probably set at least one up like that just to see if it works.

I’m hoping the hype doesn’t play out, but if it does, I am doing what I can to be ready (above my normal readiness level anyway.)  The rest is out of my hands.

This is why we stack, so we can focus on the additional stuff, while the basics are covered.  So keep stacking.

 

nick

 

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

92 thoughts on “Mon. Feb. 15, 2021 – winter is here!”

  1. Winter is here

    Based on y’all’s comments, it looks like you’re getting a solid dose of Winter. Stay warm – I know houses there aren’t built for sustained cold temp’s. I expect there will be a lot of burst water pipes and other fun stuff.

    I looked at “weather.com” to see what was happening in Houston. It’s a nice pseudo-attempt at an international website: the site kindly shows itself to me in German, based on my IP address. Which would be fine, but… what scale are the temperatures? I’d assume Fahrenheit for the US, but the German makes me think Celsius.

    So, I thought I’d turn the site to English, but you cannot select the language. Instead, you select a continent, and then a country. Each country is then associated with a single language. Web design by interns.

    I did trip across the temperature scale though – it’s in the top bar next to the geography lesson. I would have been seriously impressed with the -7, but it turns out to be -7C, which is 20F. Cold for Houston, sure, but hardly “biblical”. The MSM does love its sensationalism.

    Consumer Reports

    It is so hard to know what review sites (or individual reviewers) are on the take. I don’t know CR’s current policy, but a lot of supposedly neutral sites still rely on getting free or discounted products for their reviews.

    For computer stuff, there’s still a German magazine, c’t, that does what Byte did in its heyday. It’s a thick magazine, comes out every two weeks, and is filled with info on current tech and products. When they do a review themselves (as opposed to the more usual product-announcement articles), it’s pretty trustworthy. Even the product announcements seem to get some level of editorial oversight, as they are always very factual.

    Crazy cat lady

    On Thursday, our elderly cat took a perfectly normal jump, and broke a front leg on landing. Turns out that she has pretty severe osteoporosis. I didn’t know that was a problem for cats.

    Anyhow, they splinted up the leg, we took her home, and she promptly ripped off the splint. Took her back, the boss vet did the splint, and it took her overnight to rip it off. Went back on Saturday morning, and the attendant put on a splint that also wraps gauze around her body. So far, she hasn’t managed to get this one off, but not for lack of trying.

    We have her locked into a single floor of the house, so that she doesn’t fall down the stairs. Of course, she escaped and ran down two flights of stairs – thunk, pad, thunk, pad, thunk. Crazy cat lady who’s actually a cat. We improved the barriers.

    The painkillers seem to wear off about 5am, which she loudly announces. So I get out of bed, dose her, and try to go back to sleep. Emphasis on “try”, because it takes a while for the painkillers to kick in. I hope the leg will stop hurting so much after a couple more days :-/

    Anyway, she is an outdoor queen, and she is “not amused” at her imprisonment. It’s going to be a long 3 weeks with the splint, and a longer 3 months before she is allowed normal activity.

  2. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Texas, particularly Harold and his wife who don’t have a choice about going out.

    @Brad
    Do what I do.
    Sit the cat down for a serious talk:
    “If you don’t do what the vet tells you and ruin that leg I’m going to have to build you a little wagon so you can pull yourself around, and it will have a squeaky wheel so they can all hear you coming.”

    3
  3. The power went out where I live in SA at 4:00am. Part of ERCOT rolling blackouts. 10 minutes. I wouldn’t probably even woke up except for the 4 UPSs beeping. 10ºF and 1.5” of snow on the ground. The wiener dogs went out for 5 minutes just because it is their first snow. I could hear their paws crunching on the snow it is so cold.

    It is trash day, but I doubt the trucks will be out. It’s supposed to hit 70ºF next Sunday and all this will be history.

    I hope no pipe damage occurs.

  4. For computer stuff, there’s still a German magazine, c’t, that does what Byte did in its heyday. It’s a thick magazine, comes out every two weeks, and is filled with info on current tech and products. When they do a review themselves (as opposed to the more usual product-announcement articles), it’s pretty trustworthy. Even the product announcements seem to get some level of editorial oversight, as they are always very factual.

    I use c’t’s WSUS Online Update isos to install Windows machines from scratch. Windows 7 in particular is flaky when it comes to making updates work without the initial jumpstart of patches.

    Print, radio, and most TV advertising budgets were redirected online in the US. Whether or not it works is debatable, but the damage inflicted on the traditional media companies is not.

    Advertising in energy efficient ways is another area of retailing which will have to be relearned as the reality of the power requirements of the Brown Truck Store and Food Court in a “green” economy starts to bite. The upside of today’s weather in Texas is that a lot of people are getting a taste of the future, particularly Austin Energy customers this morning seeing the rolling blackouts.

    Yes, I imagine the Austin Energy customer base is particularly hosed. But isn’t this what they vote for?

  5. 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.

    The exposed plumbing in the crawl spaces I get. But, even if you don’t insulate to keep winter cold out wouldn’t you insulate to keep summer A/C trapped in? A total lack of insulation makes no sense to me unless you live in one of the rare places in the US that almost always hovers right at 70°.

    I’m sure local building codes will now be revised to increase minimum R-value of insulation and change how plumbing is done. Though, that doesn’t do much for everything already built.

    The power went out where I live in SA at 4:00am. Part of ERCOT rolling blackouts. 10 minutes. I wouldn’t probably even woke up except for the 4 UPSs beeping. 10ºF and 1.5” of snow on the ground.

    We received a notice here to please conserve energy (turn thermostats down, unplug unused appliances, etc.). Not because we don’t have the winter capacity, but because we’re part of a “power pool” and so they need our reserve to reroute elsewhere (or, at least, that’s the gist I got). Space heaters consume a lot of power. What are they? About 15A each? Plug in 3 or 4 or those at every house plus normal usage on top of it…

    Snow in places that never gets it is so much fun for kids and pets. 🙂

  6. A total lack of insulation makes no sense to me unless you live in one of the rare places in the US that almost always hovers right at 70°.

    It makes perfect sense if you are a real estate developer building 100s of houses.

    In places like Tampa and Houston, you worry more about whether your house was built in a flood plain which was avoided by developers up until 30 years ago.

  7. Power still out since last night’s. I’d my house is chilly, my rent house must be frozen. Gas fire in fireplace. Gonna work on getting gennie up…

    Cold

    N

  8. Apparently technology stupidity is inherited. Dealing with MIL and wife sort of confirms that hypothesis. Just the simple act of getting cellular land line is proving to be more work than one would imagine.

  9. Apparently technology stupidity is inherited. Dealing with MIL and wife sort of confirms that hypothesis. Just the simple act of getting cellular land line is proving to be more work than one would imagine.

    My psychiatrist FIL would call it “learned helplessness.” Someone is always around to sort out their tech problems for them (and not even the “hard” stuff but the simple things too) so they continue to be ignorant/lazy when it comes to tech. They throw their arms up, say “I don’t know,” and wait for someone to bail them out and someone always does which reinforces the behavior. Lots of people do it with lots of things. Automobiles is another one. When you have to have the guy at the auto parts store change your wipers and bulbs because you can’t (won’t) figure it out…

  10. Apparently technology stupidity is inherited. Dealing with MIL and wife sort of confirms that hypothesis. Just the simple act of getting cellular land line is proving to be more work than one would imagine.

    Cellular land line?

  11. Automobiles is another one. When you have to have the guy at the auto parts store change your wipers and bulbs because you can’t (won’t) figure it out…

    I know families where the females still don’t pump gas at self-serve.

    That was really common in Vantucky where, just across the river in Oregon, self-serve is against the law.

  12. The exposed plumbing in the crawl spaces I get. But, even if you don’t insulate to keep winter cold out wouldn’t you insulate to keep summer A/C trapped in? A total lack of insulation makes no sense to me unless you live in one of the rare places in the US that almost always hovers right at 70°.

    I’m sure local building codes will now be revised to increase minimum R-value of insulation and change how plumbing is done. Though, that doesn’t do much for everything already built.

    Regulatory fail. I guess if power is cheap, you don’t care if you are cooling the neighborhood. Of course, pipes burst if they freeze – there is no such consequence if you let them get warm.
    There is a need to combine improved building codes with a subsidy to encourage building retrofits for energy efficiency. As energy prices go up, the retrofit payback period from energy savings keeps dropping. The subsidy will get people (and businesses) moving faster on this. This has been going on in Ontario, and Canada in general, for a while now.

  13. . Just the simple act of getting cellular land line is proving to be more work than one would imagine.

    Do those adapters even work?

  14. 80F at 11:00 and the low last night was 69F. Warm times in the inflamed appendix of these not so United States.

  15. Wife woke me about 1am this morning saying “something wasn’t right”. I got up, checked the house, nothing unusual, and as I started to lie back down the power went out. Another instance of her ooky-spooky powers. If we hadn’t been up probably wouldn’t have noticed anything till the alarm went off. I called in the outage to OG&E, put the wife on her portable oxygen concentrator, turned on the gas fireplace and a couple of burners on the stove to slow the creeping chill. I then got us dressed warmly in case we had to abandon the house and hold up in the car (full tank) till dawn. OG&E txt us that power would be restored by 4:12, like I believed that. Wifr went back to sleep and I stayed up monitoring the situation and mentally kicking myself for not getting the transfer switch installed. With the transfer switch I could have fired up the generator and kept the gas furnace running. With a wind chill of -30f things started to cool pretty fast. Five AM came and went without power and I was getting ready to retreat to the car when the power came to life around 6am. It stayed on long enough for me to undo everything then dropped again. Power came back again an hour later and, knock formica, has stayed up. House is just now getting back into the comfort zone.
    Snow has stopped and we have bright sunshine till the next round hits tonight. The plan was to use this reprieve to get to the dialysis center even if the roads are listed as “severe”. But … the dialysis center isn’t answering the phone and I have to assume they are closed. Don’t know what we are going to do now as round 3 and 4 of the blizzard is expected tomorrow thru Thursday.

    Update: FLASHLIGHTS – the nice aluminum EBL light I keep stuck to the fridge failed completely. Even new batteries didn’t produce a flicker. But the cheaper plastic knock-offs I got from Batteries Plus and had in the kitchen drawer worked great. As did my hockey puck sized solar camping lantern I keep charging on the window sill, it put out excellent omnidirectional light for making a grill cheese sandwich.

  16. Cellular land line?

    Yes, sort of. It is a box that is cellular that you attach a typical land line phone.

    Do those adapters even work?

    Yes, they do. Quite well in fact. $20.00 a month, just voice, no text or email. MIL is having real problems using a cell phone. The concept of touching an icon is foreign. Instead she mashes the screen and keeps pressing. Or touches in places she does not realize. Swiping across, up or down is more like a touch and wave without touching the screen. She fails to end phone calls as she is used to just putting the phone back in the cradle. Cord free handsets are a disaster as she would not end the call. Phone is busy for hours and we have to call the neighbor to tell MIL to hang up the phone.

  17. I woke up at 2.45 to the beeping of my ups’s, and again around 4. Power has been off more than on this morning. I may have to fire up the generator for the freezer. 62 in the house.

  18. The ercot page is really interesting. You can see the load shedding in action.

    Looks like we’ve lost a lot of generation overnight.

    @lynn thoughts?

  19. @Mark W – both our freezers are in the garage, which is currently about 20f, so we wouldn’t need power to keep them cool during this weather event. Stay warm yourself is the key and keep the house warm enough pipes don’t freeze. I have external garden faucets on each side of the house and I am very worried about them. I put the little Styrofoam igloos over them a couple of months ago but don’t think they are rated for these temperatures. So I put soft blankets over the ones exposed to the bitter wind and put up pallets to hold them in place yesterday. We will see.

  20. @Harold I composed a reply and the power failed just before I clicked Post. Crazy.

    Taps have been dripping for a couple of days. The covers don’t fit over my taps. I have a 6 inch wide block of ice below one tap.

    Freezer is in the house, and had warmed about 7F so far.

  21. WRT to “Really cold weather with snow and ice in Texas and Oklahoma”: Perhaps twitting Plugs, AOC and Greta Tuneberg asking for a brief respite in the war against Global Warming.

    1
  22. Still no power. Honda 3k inverter gennie fired right up after a few cranks. 5800 gas genie is too cold. Bringing that inside. Took oatmeal and coffee to cancer sick neighbor.

    Checking on other old feeble neighbor now. Fixed a Mr buddy so now have a spare.

    N

    2
  23. LOL. I just realized I don’t have a snow shovel, brush, or ice scraper. Fail!

    1
  24. Sorry for your weather and energy troubles, friends. I’m glad your preps are holding you in good stead.

    @Harold
    Prayers for your wife and dialysis – sure wish I could offer more direct human hands help than prayers. My dad was on dialysis and I have some very small inkling of your stress and worry, I think. I hope she is able to quickly get back on schedule.

    For what it’s worth, the faucet covers work well even below zero. We use them up here in the frozen north, temps down to -20 f in Anchorage and no pipes frozen from the faucets that are covered. That is not to say folks don’t get frozen pipes for other reasons (gotta keep that frigid air movement away from your pipes) but if your styrofoam cover is similar to this your pipes should be safe from freezing due to the outdoor water faucet.
    https://www.acehardware.com/departments/plumbing/winterization/faucet-covers/4335493?store=09645&gclid=Cj0KCQiA1KiBBhCcARIsAPWqoSrNq88rmlwNHZXZo3nlTi1swHXWuWKhKDiBstLfMR3NmNSAmFZcIWwaAhyFEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

    The bathroom rebuild will be completed today. We have used the tub three times and it is glorious. Last steps are hang the towel racks, shower curtain rod, and voila. I got the dozen or so doors cut down for the closets and bedrooms. Blue tape, new 40 tooth blade for the circular saw, new sturdy sawhorses, couple clamps and a straight edge. Super easy. Each door took just a few minutes of triple checking measurements then running the blade thru. The doors took the blade beautifully with very little splintering. I live the lightweight collapsible saw horses. I can clip them together and carry them one handed – light enough for my wimpy muscles.

    Much thanks for the exceptionally helpful suggestions here on how to accomplish the task. The end result was really good.

    I’ve got seven rabbits to put in the freezer before the move, plus a rooster. And before the rooster goes I need to gather an incubator full of eggs. Not the right time of year for chicks, however rooster won’t be welcome in this neighborhood, so.

    I can’t get my beloved Chantecler hens this year either, so I’ll put as many of the eggs from our mixed breed hens that have small combs and wattles to hatch as I can manage. The rooster has an awful large comb so the chicks won’t necessarily be any better for winter conditions but I can try.

    I had two rabbits that have had occasional troubles with ear mites. I’d been using a drop of flea and tick shampoo in an oil base and massaging it into ears. None of us liked it and it was minimally effective. I looked for a better treatment. A tiny dab of horse wormer (ivermectin) by mouth, dose – two weeks – dose, knocked out the ear mites with absolutely no fuss or discomfort for the two rabbits. What a relief to have a better option. The affected rabbits are breeders not eaters so not concerned about the chemical in our food.

    Today’s projects at the house are little fussy 15 minute tasks. The bath fan may or may not get done depending on the appearance of our well loved but utterly unreliable friend. Researching painting the concrete laundry room, it’s about 200 sf and has 50 years of living on its surface.
    It’s been a long three months. Grateful actual moving will happen very soon.

    1

  25. knock formica

    Hah! This is the first instance of use of this phrase I have seen by anyone other than members of my family.

  26. -23°F predicted for 7AM tomorrow. That’s ambient not windchill. Even for here that’s really cold.

  27. Re some comments from yesterday…

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

    Don’t hold your breath waiting. Civil and criminal investigations against Mr. Trump are the new priority.

    I go to Consumer Reports to get a feel for what’s good, but I am beginning to think they are compromised/corrupted.

    I’ve been getting the ‘dead tree’ version of CR for years now but lately the magazine just seems to be a way for them to get you to buy full access to their website.
    Most of the print reviews are just a quick summary with a link at the end to the details if you are also a ‘digital subscriber’. All the details used to be included in the magazine but no add-on to sell. I think the time has come to not renew my subscription.

    I have a VacMaster 215 chamber vac I got for around $300 (currently about $1,000 on Big River, yikes!)

    My wife wants a VacMaster but $1K is a bit outside the budget. Keeping my eye out for a used on to turn up for a nice price. With all the restaurants unfortunately going out of business I expect something to turn up sooner or later.

    Local stations are all about the “blizzard of 2021”. Breathless live reports have replaced regular Sunday shows, an improvement in my opinion.

    Umm, that would be “Winter Storm Uri” if you tune into the Weather Channel, oh my!

    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.

    If you regularly drive on unplowed/poorly plowed roads or icy roads you should find winter tires much better for those conditions compared to the typical ‘All Season’ OEM tires that come on most AWDs these days.

    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.

    There’s a lot of disparity in when your neighborhood get plowed based on which local politician lives in your neighborhood, whether you’re part of the city and the city is doing it…
    There, FIFY.

    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.

    Seems to more often be those “entitled folks”. Hey, I gots me a driver’s license so no reason I can’t jump in my AWD SUV and head over to the Quikee-Mart with their half-gallon mug for a Coke. Black ice? Nah, I like my Coke with no ice.
    Just a few hours trapped in the house because of the weather and they develop a roaring case of cabin fever.

  28. We lost our water at 11am in our subdivision, 450 houses on two wells. Quadvest, our service provider for our wells and about 50 ? 100 ? other small water systems, lost power to their office and the server that restarts all the water well pumps automatically. So the service guys are going to each of their water systems and restarting everything manually. We have three more systems between us and Rosharon before the service guy gets here. I may have dig the potty chair out of storage in the garage. Luckily, we all have our own septic systems.

    If if is pee, don’t flush ! If it is poop, flush just once.

    I am going to drive the four miles over two inches of solid ice to go check out the office. Since I have my own water well and septic system there, we may be showering there. If, it has electricity for the water well.

  29. For what it’s worth, the faucet covers work well even below zero. We use them up here in the frozen north, temps down to -20 f in Anchorage and no pipes frozen from the faucets that are covered. That is not to say folks don’t get frozen pipes for other reasons (gotta keep that frigid air movement away from your pipes) but if your styrofoam cover is similar to this your pipes should be safe from freezing due to the outdoor water faucet.

    We have those covers, but they will have to be replaced after this weather event ends. After four years in storage, including 100 degree summers, the foam is pretty much shot.

    Florida was much harder on things left in the garage. When we moved out of the state, cleaning out storage, I knocked a Rollerblade off of a shelf, and after 10 years in the heat and humidity, the plastic boot shattered like glass when it hit the ground.


  30. If if is pee, don’t flush ! If it is poop, flush just once.

    “If it’s yellow let it mellow. If it’s brown flush it down.”

    Saw a cross-stitch of that saying over the toilet in a house years ago and asked about it. Apparently, their septic tank was barely doing it’s job so they had to baby it.

  31. We have not been blacked out yet since this started. I suspect that since we are so close to the to Parish Power Plant that they dare not. Parish is a four natural gas steam, four coal steam, and combined cycle plant of 4,000 MW, the largest power plant in Texas. STP and Comanche Peak, the nukes, are the next largest at 2,500 MW each. Then Martin Lake, three coal (lignite) in Tyler, 2,500 MW. I worked there for three months in 1985 and 1986.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WA_Parish_Generating_Station


  32. both our freezers are in the garage, which is currently about 20f, so we wouldn’t need power to keep them cool during this weather event.

    Isn’t there an issue with a freezer not kicking on its compressor if the ambient temperature gets too low?

  33. Advertising in energy efficient ways is another area of retailing which will have to be relearned as the reality of the power requirements of the Brown Truck Store and Food Court in a “green” economy starts to bite. The upside of today’s weather in Texas is that a lot of people are getting a taste of the future, particularly Austin Energy customers this morning seeing the rolling blackouts.

    Yes, I imagine the Austin Energy customer base is particularly hosed. But isn’t this what they vote for?

    The City of Austin is part of ERCOT. They get the same treatment as every one else. There are four city electric utilities in Texas: Austin, Garland, San Antonio, and Bryan. Austin owns 16% of the STP nuclear power plant. San Antonio owns 40% of STP.

  34. Once the rolling blackouts start, especially during the business day, employers will cut their hourly labor and send them home since they can’t be productive. That will reduce the power consumption and the blackouts should become shorter and fewer.

    What they have to contend with is people trying to get ready for the blackouts so everyone cranks their thermostat up to get the house as warm as possible before the power goes out. It’s a vicious cycle.

    The shift in so much newer construction to electric heat pumps with electric furnaces for backup heat is problematic. Heat pumps don’t work at these lows. We have one (it’s ~17 years old) and it’s useless below about 40°F, but thankfully I have a gas furnace too. I use the heat pump in the autumn and spring and the gas in colder parts of winter.

  35. The City of Austin is part of ERCOT. They get the same treatment as every one else. There are four city electric utilities in Texas: Austin, Garland, San Antonio, and Bryan. Austin owns 16% of the STP nuclear power plant. San Antonio owns 40% of STP.

    Austin Energy PR talks about buying from “green” sources of power. An ownership stake in the nuclear plant isn’t mentioned.

    We haven’t lost power where we live in unincorporated Williamson, but a fancy neighborhood in Leander, just up 183, lost gas service for a while last night when pressure in the lines dropped too low.


  36. The shift in so much newer construction to electric heat pumps with electric furnaces for backup heat is problematic. Heat pumps don’t work at these lows. We have one (it’s ~17 years old) and it’s useless below about 40°F, but thankfully I have a gas furnace too. I use the heat pump in the autumn and spring and the gas in colder parts of winter.

    The house we bought in San Antonio has a new Lennox heat pump. It’s been holding 73ºF during the 10ºF weather (when the power went out/on it warmed right back up). The neighborhood is all electric an I have the HP set at 73ºF year round. I manually set it to heat/cool rather than both at the same time.

  37. Power still out since last night’s. I’d my house is chilly, my rent house must be frozen. Gas fire in fireplace. Gonna work on getting gennie up…

    Cold

    N

    The down side of having rotating blackouts is that those remote controlled circuit breakers are only cycled once a decade or two. Once cycled off, they do not always cycle back on without a lineman overriding the trips or reracking the breaker a few times.

  38. I see a lot of comments calling for more regulation, tougher (IE more expensive) building codes. There are still some of us who believe that it’s your responsibility to see if your home is insulated or not. It’s not like a fire code that prevents your fire from spreading to others homes but only affects YOUR stuff. I’d be happy to see regulations that demand the government INFORM people of correct insulation and the consequences of not having it but not happy for local governments to use force without an overriding common good. Just my 2 pence worth.

    1
  39. I went to my office building. Power out and inside temperature decayed to 65 F from the 70 F setting. The 120 gallon water tank had decayed to 40 psig (I run the well pump at 45 psig and switch off at 55 psig). I left all the faucets in the office trickling. I found the LED lanterns, both of them had burst batteries ! So I chunked them in the dumpster.

    One of my guys called me when I got home. His power has been off since 745am and he is apparently on the same circuit as the office. So I am going to go back to the office before tonight and turn the water off in case my office building freezes tonight.

    When the guys left the office warehouse Friday, they turned the water off so I do not have to worry about that.

  40. The shift in so much newer construction to electric heat pumps with electric furnaces for backup heat is problematic. Heat pumps don’t work at these lows. We have one (it’s ~17 years old) and it’s useless below about 40°F, but thankfully I have a gas furnace too. I use the heat pump in the autumn and spring and the gas in colder parts of winter.

    Most heat pumps built in the last 20+ years have a COP of 3 at 47 F and a COP of 2 at 17 F. COP means Coefficient of Performance. A COP of 3 means that the heat pump is producing 3X the amount of heat that it is using. A COP of 2 means that the heat pump is producing 2X the amount of heat that it is using. So, even at 17 F the heat pump is still working but probably not enough to meet the demand which is why most heat pumps have strip electric resistance heat as a backup.

  41. 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.

    Brings to mind an incident I witnessed a few decades ago (1980s) during a rare Oklahoma Snow Storm. I was driving slowly in a line of traffic along a divided carriageway with heavy snow on the ground and still falling. The opposite lanes, across the median were empty of traffic. A young man, had to have been young and male, in a Jeep CJ5 4WD decided we were going too slow for him and turned off the road in his wonderful 4WD all terrain capable vehicle and decided to cross the snow covered median to get to the other side. He jumped the curb and took off, then promptly dropped from sight as the snow that had covered the ditch that was in the median gave way. It was a surprisingly funny sight to see this new go-anywhere toy vanish.

  42. The wind power in Texas has decayed to 2,500 MW (25,000 MW installed) and the solar power is starting to decay after reaching 2,800 MW (5,000 MW installed). These so-called renewables are useless in extreme weather events. Therefore, they are worthless to me for all purposes.

  43. We just moved to San Antonio (well, the far-western outskirts) last summer. Before that, we were in a suburb of Sacramento, CA for 30+ years. I _LOVED_ the snow there; up in the mountains where it was pretty, and not down in my driveway. Here in SA, we got 5.5 inches of light, fluffy powder; it should have gone to Colorado, the ski resorts would have LOVED it.

    We’re lucky; we didn’t lose power. We do have a small generator in the shed, but we have a 22KW Generac on order, so NEXT winter we won’t need to worry so much. We have propane for heat, and we just had the propane tank filled week before last, so even there we’re OK. The snow on the (cheap, FRAGILE) asphalt road doesn’t get plowed, but didn’t need it because the snow melted by mid-afternoon. (Does San Antonio even OWN snowplows?) Tonight’s freezing lows will turn that to black ice.

    A wannabe humorist on the nextdoor.com website posts a picture of the woman who vandalized his yard. “I am calling the Sheriff! I cannot believe this person would do this to my yard!”
    With a Ring camera photo of his snow-covered yard, and a picture of Princess Elsa (from “Frozen”) photoshopped in.

  44. Since the power is out at the traffic light at FM 2759 and FM 762 near my house, you are suppose to stop, look, and procede in a orderly fashion. There was a lady next to me in a Lexus 4WD SUV. I stopped at the dead light , she did not and ran it at least at 10 mph. Luckily the traffic was light.


  45. I see a lot of comments calling for more regulation, tougher (IE more expensive) building codes. There are still some of us who believe that it’s your responsibility to see if your home is insulated or not.

    That would be okay for new construction, but what about resales? Either it’s okay for tprospective buyer to start poking some holes in the walls or you rely on honest disclosure by the seller, and I wouldn’t trust the latter.

  46. I see a lot of comments calling for more regulation, tougher (IE more expensive) building codes. There are still some of us who believe that it’s your responsibility to see if your home is insulated or not. It’s not like a fire code that prevents your fire from spreading to others homes but only affects YOUR stuff. I’d be happy to see regulations that demand the government INFORM people of correct insulation and the consequences of not having it but not happy for local governments to use force without an overriding common good. Just my 2 pence worth.

    That sounds great and if you are building a home yourself or having someone build a custom for you and you know what you are doing. Most people don’t know. When a builder comes in and does a hundred-home subdivision, he builds to minimum code and last I checked, will get buyers really excited about special finishes and stainless-steel appliances. Not word one will be about non-visible items and of course most people believe minimum code is good enough. Minimum code is typically NEVER good enough but the way to fix that is not just to educate the buyers but to upgrade what IS minimum code. Yes that will probably mean the homes will be marginally more expensive to build. Buyers are amortizing that over 25 years. (Just don’t buy the stainless steel appliances and the marble tile). Buyers are also very likely (can’t be sure) to get the extra expense and much more back in savings on maintenance and energy costs over that 25 years. Yes, you can make every buyer aware of this and have them all do the calculations for savings, etc… Or you can just save everyone the time and put it in the minimum code. Overriding common good: How about no or fewer rotating blackouts because overall energy demand is less? I realize the current storm is a 100-year event, but you are probably hitting close to max every summer on energy demand for A/C.

  47. The ercot page is really interesting. You can see the load shedding in action.

    Looks like we’ve lost a lot of generation overnight.

    @lynn thoughts?

    We are running out of fuel in Texas. The plants with diesel tanks are probably running short now. The natural gas wellheads are freezing up as their ethylene glycol circulation systems are slowly running out (the natural gas will absorb about 4 ppm of EG as it gets processed. Looks like we can still make 45,000 MW out of an 80,000 MW total. Several of the chemical plants and refinery power generation systems are down also with their steam tracing systems failing. Texas is just not built for weather under 25 F.

  48. @nick; other than some T/As and maybe some medical assist calls, must be pretty quiet on your PD scanner channels…

  49. I see a lot of comments calling for more regulation, tougher (IE more expensive) building codes. There are still some of us who believe that it’s your responsibility to see if your home is insulated or not.

    That would be okay for new construction, but what about resales? Either it’s okay for tprospective buyer to start poking some holes in the walls or you rely on honest disclosure by the seller, and I wouldn’t trust the latter.

    Resales will be a problem. Best you can do is assume it was built to whatever was minimum code at the time of construction. Investigation to find out if more than the minimum was done would require, as you said, either some sort of inspection, or maybe evidence of a retrofit – receipts, some sort of certificate if done as part of a government retrofit program, etc… None of that necessarily guarantees the quality of the work done, though again inspections (either the initial one to ensure the building code was met or later to meet a new standard) are your friend.

  50. I see a lot of comments calling for more regulation, tougher (IE more expensive) building codes. There are still some of us who believe that it’s your responsibility to see if your home is insulated or not. It’s not like a fire code that prevents your fire from spreading to others homes but only affects YOUR stuff. I’d be happy to see regulations that demand the government INFORM people of correct insulation and the consequences of not having it but not happy for local governments to use force without an overriding common good. Just my 2 pence worth.

    Plenty of home inspections and new standards are coming soon enough with the Green New Deal.


  51. new standards are coming soon enough with the Green New Deal

    One size fits all, coming from DC. What could possibly go wrong?

  52. A competent home inspector will be able to tell you about your house insulation (walls and ceilings). For instance, you can remove a wall plate on a switch or outlet and poke around the switch/outlet box to see if insulation is around it. With an inexpensive camera wand thing on your phone, you can look and see.

    A home inspector should also go up into the ceiling (not just his head, but climb up there), and go into the crawl space (not just poke your head in there) to see insulation and other issues in those areas.

    Getting a competent home inspector can be challenging. Some realtor-associated home inspectors are not as ‘honest’ as others….they will fudge an inspection report to what the realtor wants.

    In all of my house purchases, I got good quality home inspectors. They provided a very comprehensive report (50+ pages, with pictures) of all aspects of the house I was purchasing.

    IMHO, it is not wise to purchase a home without a comprehensive – and quality – home inspection. If the home inspection report you get is not complete, then get another one. Or use a different, more competent and honest realtor.

    Unless you really like to fix things around your house. Even then, I’d still get a comprehensive home inspection. Like @Jenny did.


  53. That sounds great and if you are building a home yourself or having someone build a custom for you and you know what you are doing.

    Like this house. It’s a Jim Walter. It seems to me to be well built as far as actual structure goes. Hey, the roof lines are straight, the floors are flat, and it doesn’t creak but a tiny bit when the wind is gusting hard at 40MPH.

    But whoever had this house built went with the cheap windows. The /extra cheap/ windows. Baseboards? Nah, don’t need no miter box, freehand is good enough. Kitchen cabinets? I’ve seen nicer in mobile homes. Carpet? Yeah, let’s glue down some white berber and call it good.

    The actual house is well built. I crawled all over it before we bought it. Under and in the attic. Just (still) needs more insulation.

    The experts also say replacing your windows takes years to break even. Like 20 years. I think they are wrong. First, the drafts are stopped. That helps the heating and cooling costs. Comfort is good. At the time I figured by the drop in the electric bill for cooling bill my break even was eight years. Almost nailed that.

    Then I replaced the dead central air and various window units with a heat pump. That dropped the electric bill from $250 in July and August to $120.

  54. I realize the current storm is a 100-year event, but you are probably hitting close to max every summer on energy demand for A/C.

    We had a much worse weather event on Christmas 1989. -4 F in Dallas and 6 F in Houston for 48 hours.

    We have coasted through the past two or three summers with around 1,000 MW spinning reserves in Texas with 75,000 of load. Not good. If one of the nukes had gone down then the entire grid would had been severely stressed.

  55. The experts also say replacing your windows takes years to break even. Like 20 years. I think they are wrong. First, the drafts are stopped. That helps the heating and cooling costs. Comfort is good. At the time I figured by the drop in the electric bill for cooling bill my break even was eight years. Almost nailed that.

    I agree. I replaced my single pane windows with triple pane windows with a laminate sheet for sound reduction last October 2019. My electric bill for our house last August was $240. The electric bill last month was $120. I am fairly sure that the old windows would have been double that.

  56. ok, got the 5800 on line. Had to totally tear down and clean the carb. Got the house minimally powered and making heat with the furnace. Took ambient from 60 to 68 so far, since 330.

    Running both gennies, one for the furnace and some minimal stuff like wifi and internet, with the honda running the oil filled electric radiators. My plan is to run them overnight. I wouldn’t during the hurricane, but I’m more afraid of freezing pipes than thieves.

    Took a butane cooker and some food to the sick neighbor. His brother is there helping him out. Also 2 more bottles for the Mr Buddy. It hit me that they’d be more comfortable with a way to cook on their own.

    check out the post at SpaceCityWeather.com for why we aren’t actually doing rolling blackouts.

    I’m mentally writing off the rent house at this point. It’s sitting empty with no power. Not good.

    cooking dinner on the coleman stove.

    hamburger helper. yum

    n

  57. My water is back on ! Good times, good times.

    The amount of sediment in the lines was simply amazing.

  58. see a lot of comments calling for more regulation, tougher (IE more expensive) building codes. There are still some of us who believe that it’s your responsibility to see if your home is insulated or not.

    Here is a thought. Have the Homeowner’s Insurance Co. administer the “code”. They can discount on a “Good, Better, Best” specification level and the developer can price the “packages” to meet the specs. The Owner will have his house “Certified” to meet whatever level he can afford and have something to point at when he sells.

    Here in the upper midwest it has been in the single digits or less for the last 10 days. The 2 story apartment house I’m in finally figured out the central heating control computer to max out supplied heat to my unit in the mid 70’s. In previous years, I could set and get heat in the low 80’s. Built before the first oil shock in ’73, there is no, none, nada insulation in the brick veneer walls. They have replaced all the windows for 54 units, added a whiz-bang double super duper boiler system and provided insulated covers for the thru-wall A/C units. The ceiling/roof is full of blown in insulation. Bet the gas bill is still horrific.

  59. WRT to “Really cold weather with snow and ice in Texas and Oklahoma”: Perhaps twitting Plugs, AOC and Greta Tuneberg asking for a brief respite in the war against Global Warming.

    Man caused Global Warming is a fake.

    Man caused Climate Change is a fake.

    Man caused Climate Disruption is a fake.

    7
    1
  60. LOL. I just realized I don’t have a snow shovel, brush, or ice scraper. Fail!

    Fail !

    Wait. I don’t have a snow shovel, brush, or ice scraper either. Fail ! And I have two inches of ice and snow on the back patio.

    I do have a spatula in my truck that I use as an ice scraper. Works amazingly well.

  61. Credit card is a decent window scraper in a pinch. You’ll want to wear gloves.

  62. Don’t pour warm water on your windshield to clear the ice. Unless you like cracked windshields. If you can, put a small blanket or towel over the windshield (outside) before the ice starts.

    I have a snow shovel, and scrapers for each car (plus a spare scraper) leftover from my move from Utah to WA. I use the snow shovel once a year here in WA. The main car is in the garage; the outside car gets minimal use.

    I also have spray de-icer. Hard to get in some areas. But spare bottles of each. Probably unobtainium in some areas.

  63. Thanks @lynn, useful source of information. I’m writing Nextdoor posts to explain to everyone why it’s cold and dark here.

  64. Still no power. Honda 3k inverter gennie fired right up after a few cranks. 5800 gas genie is too cold. Bringing that inside. Took oatmeal and coffee to cancer sick neighbor.

    Checking on other old feeble neighbor now. Fixed a Mr buddy so now have a spare.

    N

    Just talked to my parents. They have not had power all day and cannot get out as mom’s ramp is covered with ice. The entire city of Port Lavaca, TX is out of power so I know that linemen are working on it. And the bridge between Port Lavaca and Point Comfort is closed due to the ice. Their house is 60 F so they are bundled up and reading. I gave them a bunch of LED battery lanterns a few years ago so they are using those for light.
    https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Carabineer-Classic-Personal-Lantern/dp/B00S57J49S/

    Dad is going to order a 48 kW generator also. He has two quotes and the low quote is $29K installed. He has two panels connected to his meter so he has to have two transfer switches installed, one being a three phase. Sounds very tricky to me.


  65. Plenty of home inspections…

    Whether you want one or not…lots of notes/photos/video taken for future reference.

  66. Tucker Carlson trying to talk to Rick Perry. Mr Perry has lost power, only a still picture.

    Call from work, they are unable to log onto a customer’s site to process orders. Multi-billion dollar company but the url starts out with dell. They mostly had no clue but I suggested there may be a power issue. Don’t know for sure but seems like a good guess.

    Ah, Mr Perry is now on. Says he is on generator now. Makes the point.


  67. Getting a competent home inspector can be challenging. Some realtor-associated home inspectors are not as ‘honest’ as others….they will fudge an inspection report to what the realtor wants.

    Never ask the seller’s broker/Realtor(tm) for a recommendation for a home inspector. Ask your broker (if you’ve engaged a buyer’s broker) or try getting references from people you know in the area. Look for certification through ASHI and/or NACHI.

  68. “God created all men, Sam Colt made them equal – North Carolina Edition”
    https://gunfreezone.net/god-created-all-men-sam-colt-made-them-equal-north-carolina-edition/

    “Two grown men break into a home and attack an elderly woman, shooting and injuring her. A young boy picks up a gun and shoots at the men, fatally wounding one and scaring off the other.”

    “Tell me how else a 73-year-old woman and a 12-year-old boy are supposed to defend themselves from two grown men?”

    Works for me !

  69. ERCOT’s ability to make power is continuing to sag. We are now running at 44,000 MW demand with 2,000 MW reserve. Tuesday morning is going to be a freaking disaster. Office manager just texted all of the employees that we are going to be closed Tuesday also. I am treating this as an Act Of God and not charging their vacation accounts. It is suppose to be 12 F in the morning.
    https://www.wunderground.com/forecast/us/tx/sugar%20land/77469

    1
  70. “Texas’ Wind Power Generation Cut In Half Due To Winter Storm”
    https://thescoop.us/texas-wind-power-generation-cut-in-half-due-to-winter-storm/

    “The Austin American-Statesman reported, “Wind farms across the state generate up to a combined 25,100 megawatts of energy. But unusually moist winter conditions in West Texas brought on by the weekend’s freezing rain and historically low temperatures have iced many of those wind turbines to a halt,” they added. “As of Sunday morning, those iced turbines comprise 12,000 megawatts of Texas’ installed wind generation capacity, although those West Texas turbines don’t typically spin to their full generation capacity this time of year.””

    Worthless junk ! ! !

    If the power generation equipment cannot generate power during extreme weather events then what worth is it ? Just a bunch of bird killing windmills.


  71. Post-impeachment, NYT retracts story about Officer Sicknick killed by Trumpster with fire extinguisher

    Oops. Honest mistake. Like the Trayvon Martin story, and Breona Taylor, and…

  72. I’m running lights and a space heater off the generator here. Haven’t had any power in several hours.

    Some idiot on nextdoor is saying there are no blackouts in Houston or Dallas. He’s blaming everything on cps, the local power company.


  73. I am treating this as an Act Of God and not charging their vacation accounts.

    Good man.

  74. “Tracking how cold it will get tonight in Houston”
    https://spacecityweather.com/tracking-how-cold-it-will-get-tonight-in-houston/

    “How cold tonight?”

    “We’ve been asking this question for days when it was apparent that tonight would be the main event for cold. So, we have a lot of models and data and whatnot, but let’s actually compare to data from the most recent comparable event: December 1989. On December 23 and December 24, 1989, Houston (Bush Airport) hit 7° and 11° respectively, close analogs to what we believe tonight’s low temperature will be. One way to check on how things are going is to track the temperature at Bush Airport hour by hour and compare to the hourly observations in those events, as well as the NWS point forecast from just before 8 PM this evening.”

    11 F.

  75. Still running on the Honda. Carb issues with the 5800. Frozen water in the fuel filter. I’m chasing issues.

    Took lunch and coffee across the street.

    And a bottle for the Mr buddy.

    Thank gnu for the Mr buddy s

    And the oil filled radiators running off the gennie.

    N

  76. If your vehicle or generator engine has issues when it’s cold, also consider if the air filter has been exposed to enough moisture to make freezing a possibility. After 3 days of near single-digit gas mileage and repeated engine check lights, I removed the (frozen solid) air filter. Truck started up no issues after that.

    1
  77. ”The power situation is disastrous, and it likely won’t be fixed tonight”
    https://spacecityweather.com/the-power-situation-is-disastrous-and-it-likely-wont-be-fixed-tonight/

    ”As of 2 pm on Monday, about 1.1 million of CenterPoint’s 2.6 million customers are without power in the greater Houston area. Mercado said customers without power are unlikely to get electricity back today, and quite possibly not tonight—when temperatures are forecast to reach near all-time record lows.”

    “Two things happened last night to contribute to these outages. First, demand was extraordinarily high across the state, Mercado said. And then, beginning at about 1 am, generating units started to shut down. This is almost certainly due to extremely cold conditions. Eventually about one-third of the anticipated capacity went offline. This included a handful of freezing wind turbines, but the majority of the volume losses were due to coal and natural gas plants going offline.”

    “CenterPoint had been planning to manage increased demand overnight and today through rolling outages, which would last about 30 to 45 minutes. However, when power plants began going offline, CenterPoint had to prioritize circuits that fed power to emergency units, such as hospitals and police stations. After this, there just was not enough capacity to implement rolling outages so if your power went out, it mostly stayed out. (Note: If you have power, do your part by conserving energy. If you use fewer watts, access to the grid can be expanded to others).”

    1. Buy a home generator !

    2. The natural gas generators are running out of fuel because we need more natural gas pipelines in Texas.

    NOTE that no comments are allowed on his article. He knows that people like me would be jumping all over him for the the wind turbine people hiring helicopters with deicing equipment to deice the wind turbines ! I wonder how the farmers feel about deicing solution being sprayed all over their fields.

  78. @Lynn
    Thanks for the updates.
    I saw a photo earlier. Caption was something like:
    Fossil-fueled helicopter made out of fossil fuel based materials spraying fossil-fuel derived anti-icing liquid on wind turbine made out of fossil fuel based materials.

    Farmers should be taking samples, looking at their leases and requesting the SDS for the chemicals being sprayed.

    I pulled up Weather Underground for Houston Hobby. Says partly cloudy and dew point is 8. Unless more clouds roll in I’d guess 8 as the low.

    Give the brass monkeys bankies.


  79. 2. The natural gas generators are running out of fuel because we need more natural gas pipelines in Texas.

    @lynn, does this portend concerns with what you have planned?


  80. I do have a spatula in my truck that I use as an ice scraper. Works amazingly well.

    Before I escaped NYC for warmer climes, this was my go-to scraper:
    https://www.amazon.com/CJ-Industries-F101-Fantastic-Scraper/dp/B000FW4LT4/?tag=ttgnet-20
    And this was really handy for cleaning off the car:
    https://www.amazon.com/SnoBrum-Push-Broom-Extendable-Telescoping-Scratching/?tag=ttgnet-20

    I also have spray de-icer. Hard to get in some areas. But spare bottles of each. Probably unobtainium in some areas.

    Plenty of spray de-icer available from Big River:
    https://www.amazon.com/s?k=spray+deicer&crid=HHMP0V6TMMZJ&sprefix=spray+de%2Caps%2C232&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_5_8&tag=ttgnet-20

  81. The City of Austin is part of ERCOT. They get the same treatment as every one else. There are four city electric utilities in Texas: Austin, Garland, San Antonio, and Bryan. Austin owns 16% of the STP nuclear power plant. San Antonio owns 40% of STP.

    Austin Energy PR talks about buying from “green” sources of power. An ownership stake in the nuclear plant isn’t mentioned.

    We haven’t lost power where we live in unincorporated Williamson, but a fancy neighborhood in Leander, just up 183, lost gas service for a while last night when pressure in the lines dropped too low.

    Apparently one or both of the STP nuclear power units just tripped offline (1250 MW each):
    Tweet from Eric about an hour ago at https://twitter.com/spacecitywx/status/1361500634780995587?s=21

    Apparently 400,000 homes in Austin have been without power since last night. Somebody is going to be little upset.

    ERCOT is run by the Texas PUC. Electricity service is about two things: reliability and economics. When I was at TXU, we were about reliability. We served the last customer just as well as we served the first customer. The Texas PUC continuously told us to ride the line between two by cutting reliability. For instance, we kept six million barrels of fuel oil in storage at the plants for extreme weather events. They wanted us to only keep three million barrels of fuel oil in storage. They won, we burned three million barrels of fuel oil in the summer of 1984 at our outlying plants.

    Those brilliant young MBAs and their amazing spreadsheets run the Texas PUC. Who, runs ERCOT. ERCOT has done a great job with economics of the cost of electricity. And now we know how, by cutting the reliability of the electrical grid. Independent power producers only get paid for producing MWHs. They do not get paid for contributing to the reserves in the system. Nor do they get paid for fuel reliability. Understand this though, the independent power producers are doing anything they can to provide power right now when the price is almost $10,000 per MWH.

  82. 2. The natural gas generators are running out of fuel because we need more natural gas pipelines in Texas.

    @lynn, does this portend concerns with what you have planned?

    Gas turbines need 400 psig of natural gas for their combustion. Steam boilers need 80 psig of natural gas for their combustion. A residential power generator, basically a motorcycle or car engine, needs 2 psig for combustion. The higher the pressure, the more the direct pipeline pressure is needed. Or, a supplemental natural gas compressor is needed. After all, your vehicle has a fuel pump on it for raising the pressure of the injected fuel. Maybe a gas turbine should have a fuel compressor.

    So no, I am not concerned about the natural gas supply in Texas for low pressure consumers. If I do become concerned, I can convert to propane. But, I am not concerned. Yet.

    There are new natural gas pipelines being built in Texas. Currently and being planned.

  83. Those brilliant young MBAs and their amazing spreadsheets run the Texas PUC. Who, runs ERCOT. ERCOT has done a great job with economics of the cost of electricity. And now we know how, by cutting the reliability of the electrical grid. Independent power producers only get paid for producing MWHs. They do not get paid for contributing to the reserves in the system. Nor do they get paid for fuel reliability. Understand this though, the independent power producers are doing anything they can to provide power right now when the price is almost $10,000 per MWH.

    My dad made the point to me that we are moving in the direction of California for the state of Texas. We are emphasizing cost over reliability. Apparently, we have made a conscious decision that we will not size the electric grid for meeting extreme weather events. For instance, right now the grid is supplying some 44,500 MW. If they were able to service every customer, the grid would have a demand of 70,000 to 80,000 MW right now.

    Get a blanket.

    Get a generator.

    Wait until the hurricanes get here to see some true outages. The electrical outages in the Houston area for hurricane Ike (2008) lasted anywhere from 8 hours to 2.5 days (me) to 12 weeks (whew !).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Ike

    BTW, this is the first time that many of the units in the Texas power system have been below 20 F. For instance, all four nukes (5,000 MW). At least half of the gas turbines (which usually do not have cold air problems, they have hot air problems).

  84. Iced up wind generators. Great, makes a lot of sense, relying on those.

    Nuclear is really the only option for baseline power generation. There is no second choice. Use the windmills when available, use solar when available, but bottom line: civilization needs reliable power, and those…aren’t.

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