Wed. Feb. 17, 2021 – interim boring details, and hotwash

Ah, sweet sweet internet….

On my dual screen pc at that!

Ok, here’s the rundown on yesterday.

Big gennie (gasoline, generac) died around 4 am. I was asleep and didn’t wake. I had fueled both gennies at 230am before bed. Honda died at 808am and I got out of bed to deal with it at that point.

Wife was up after 4am and did the ‘run the hot water until the wall cavity warms up and the cold runs freely’ and ‘flush the toilets a couple of times to keep their lines moving’ dance until I got up.

She pointed out that across the street had power and I should try that before restarting the gennies. Did that and LO! we were back up. No cell or internet service though.

Got some breakfast and looked at the machines. I really expected ERCOT to rolling b/o us in a couple of hours so I wanted to be back up. Honda was dry, so that was just my bad-overestimated the run time. I did wake up at 750am and think “I should refuel before they die” but didn’t. I fueled it up and it restarted easily. I removed one load in the house but kept running the oil filled space heater in the garage. No need to add my garage heat to the TX baseload while people didn’t have power…

The generac still had fuel. About a half tank of milky fuel. It looked funny when I filled it at 2 am, but I put that down to weird lighting. The fuel seemed thicker, ‘oily’ in the way it flowed, and not clear. F me. Bad fuel. The honda had enough good fuel to run anyway when I added the bad, but not the generac.

Put the fuel issue to the side and did a bunch of chores. No cell or internet.

Gave one oil filled heater to the neighbor to put in his attic to thaw his pipes. They left around 130 in the afternoon so the house was cold for 16 hours… not good. Saw that my sick neighbor had his son over, and with power on, I didn’t worry about his breakfast.

Went back to draining the bad fuel. Very sluggish coming out of the petcock, so yep, it was nasty. My hand fuel pump took me a while to find, and it didn’t want to work so I just let the tank drain slowly. Made plans to go to my rent house and meet the tenant, thought the power was on and wanted to be there for the pipe test… but before I could leave, my sick neighbor’s brother came out and told me my neighbor’s wife had died that morning in recovery from her emergency surgery. (did I mention his wife had a ruptured bowel and needed to get emergency surgery? I think I did.) I would not be surprised if my sick neighbor didn’t just give up and pass in the next day or so. They were married 55 years and the chemo is killing him faster than the cancer.

Then before I could leave, the other neighbor had water pouring out of a light fixture… so they needed help fixing the busted pipe. I gave all the supplies to yet a third neighbor, who helped him do the repair (I checked when I finally got home.) It paid to have a bunch of plumbing supplies stacked and waiting…..

Finally threw 4 empty gas cans in the truck and headed out. Sweet jebus. Plenty of slick spots on the otherwise dry roads. As I got out of my area, the power was still out, and all the traffic lights were blinking red. SEVERAL cars managed to get wrecked, with one sideswiped and ping ponged up onto the median… I saw people just cruising thru lights too. LOTS of people on the street. When I got closer to my rental (Heights part of Houston) the lights were just out. That made for some interesting intersections…

Met with my tenant, house was 36F inside, no power, no heat. We shut off the water and drained the pipes. He headed back to a friend’s place, I went by my secondary to pick up a bag of snow melt salt. Yeah, why the he77 did I buy a bag of salt in Houston? No idea but I did- at an auction a couple of months ago… that’s how my life works. For what it’s worth, the box of Morton’s Kosher salt did the trick on the front walk, and where I needed it, just fine. It will be nice to have bigger chunks in places though.

Headed home on surface streets, but a different route than I took to get there. Any fast food place that had power had a line of cars out the lot and onto the street. Ditto for gas stations. I kept driving, figuring I’d eventually find a station without lines. I did. Got all my cans ready, reached for my wallet, and, I left it at home. Carry pistol too. I was so scattered trying to get out of the house I messed up. No consequences this time but of all the times to be driving through those neighborhoods, and to not have any resources with me…

Made it home, armed up and grabbed money and wallet and went back out. Took three tries to find a station that was taking credit cards. I had cash but didn’t want to stand in line, and didn’t know how much gas I needed. There were LOTS of angry people yelling and cursing that it was CASH ONLY. Worth taking note of that. Filled the cans and got home. I wanted fresh gas for the night. I’ll go through the stored fuel in the daylight and warmth, and cycle it through my truck if it is not too bad, or pump off most of it and leave the water in the bottom of the can… I just don’t have time today or tomorrow and there is gas at the store. Note to self, REALLY need to rotate the stored fuel more aggressively.

Back working on the generac. I really wanted it running before I lost the daylight in case we lost power again  (it’s the 220v that feeds the house so that we have heat).   There was still a LOT of bad gas in the tank that wouldn’t flow out. I took another look at my pump and fixed it, then used it to pump out the bad gas. Used the new gas to rinse the tank several times, then pulled the carb bowl and let the new gas flush the line and the carb. Put it all back together and it started on the second pull. That generac ROCKS once the carb is clean. It’s just unfortunate that you have to clean it before every use… I’m VERY familiar with that gennie since I’ve been fixing it since y2K… The note there is you should be familiar with your critical gear, and know how to keep it running.

Then it was time to do a bit of snow shoveling before a dinner of jambalaya with sausage… one pot meals are great when you have limited fuel or time or water for washing up. Delicious and filling.

And then I got caught up on the comments and wrote this…

Today should be more of the same, with more helping neighbors and less running around. I hope.

 


 

The honda EU3000i is quiet, started right up, runs well, is QUIET, and is worth every penny. The only down side is lack of 22ov output. You can get two and link them for 22ov and I will consider that. I’ll definitely watch for another in the auctions. The (out of production) generac is rock solid and has been my saving grace several times. I don’t take good enough care of it but it still performs when needed.  The liquid cooled commercial Generac whole house gennie is only effective if it’s actually INSTALLED. Procrastination is a b!tch. Resources and time are limited, but it makes no real sense that I’ve had it all this time without connecting it. That’s just dumb, and a huge fail. So much of the angst and additional effort could have been avoided if I could have just switched that on and let it run.

Having multiples of things and having repair materials ON HAND can turn a disaster into an inconvenience. I had the oil filled radiators for YEARS in storage and never used them, but they sure made it easier to stay warm during this disaster.

The Mr Heater Buddy series ROCKS. Absolutely the easiest way to get heat in a disaster, or when you are away from home. HIGHLY recommended. And buy a case of bottles per heater… if you need them you REALLY need them. A full bottle lasted about 4 hours on the low setting. Besides helping my neighbor, I used one in the back bathroom to warm ME when using the throne, and to keep a room that’s cool on the best of winter days warm enough protect the pipes. Grab and go heat. Super handy.

The aphorism that you must help yourself first in order to help others proved out during this disaster so far. We were able to feed, warm, and help neighbors with repairs because we were in good shape. Even for (crusty selfish old) me it feels good to be able to help.

We’re not through it yet, but so far we’ve kept up…

Even really unlikely things can happen, so keep stacking….

nick

114 Comments and discussion on "Wed. Feb. 17, 2021 – interim boring details, and hotwash"

  1. SteveF says:

    Several items of fail but huge prepper wins. Well done, Nick.

    1
  2. Michael J Hart says:

    Nick, long time listener…first time caller….been reading since well before Bob switched from windows..after his passing…I alaways thought you and Steve plus the gang could have produced a great survival book in memorial. It could also produce some profits for the page and authors.

    Before I ask the question that bothers me. I think you are awesome for taking care of your neighbors…this is the most important survival mech. Take care of the neighbors.

    Do you think you were under powered? Generators are cheap. Honda’s are gold standard and well building Generacs not so much.

  3. Greg Norton says:

    I’ve got a big fire going at the house. Looks to be the first time this fireplace has been used in this 23 year old house. I had to cut the logs down from 6 ft and 9 ft which was fun on the two inches of ice on the back patio. We are at 35 f and all is very slowly melting.

    Looks can be deceiving. In July, having a sweep out to check the chimney will be easy.

    The first Christmas in our FL house, my father-in-law got all antsy about having a fire, but we had yet to get a sweep out to check things thoroughly so I was the Scrooge McDuck who said ‘no’.

    Fast forward six months to the end of June, when we had someone out and my wife commented about my paranoia. The response came back, “Paranoid or not, the chimney has some buildup from those ‘clean burning’ paper logs, and your father-in-law could have burned your house down.”

    “That will be $75.”‘

    (2001. Adjust for inflation.)

  4. Greg Norton says:

    Any fast food place that had power had a line of cars out the lot and onto the street.

    The lines at the fast food places and grocery stores are a bad sign. This weather situation had been predicted a week out, arguably erring on the side of hysteria.

    Valentines Day was the only reason I went to our local HEB on Sunday.

    I can kinda-sorta understand the gas station situation if people were using cars to warm up. Lets see if the media can whip people into believing a “gas shortage” in Central Texas like Labor Day Weekend 2017.

    If your local Clear Channel talk station suddenly has GasBuddy.com sponsoring traffic, the attempt at creating a “gas shortage” is in progress.

  5. Harold Combs says:

    @Nick -thanks for the detailed AAR. We can all learn from others experiences.
    Awoke this morning to about 10 inches of new snow on top of the 3 inches we got earlier in the week. Not going anywhere even if we wanted to. Its a balmy 12f so this is much wetter, heavier, snow than the light powder we got before. Weather lady says we can expect another couple of hours of snowfall. I leant my big suburban to my son a few weeks ago so we only have the little Honda Del Sol and my daily driver the 2017 Hyundai Sonata. Neither are capable of negotiating 12+ inches of thick snow.
    Hey, it could be worse. The farmers and ranchers have to see to their livestock, feed them and break up frozen water tanks / ponds.
    Plan just to stay inside and keep warm.

    Note: This our first winter in our retirement home. It was built in the 1970s with excellent insulation. The water pipes are mostly routed through the slab as are the heating ducts so the heater keeps the slab warm. Checked the garage just now and is around 30f but the bottled water is still liquid.

  6. Greg Norton says:

    There were LOTS of angry people yelling and cursing that it was CASH ONLY. Worth taking note of that

    Our primary credit union’s online systems were down from Sunday through this morning. They don’t contract that work out to a clearing house with Subcontinent labor like the backup credit union so the problem wasn’t unexpected.

    Also, I don’t allow the ATM cards to link to Visa/MC debit systems, but I keep cash at the house and in my cars.

  7. Harold Combs says:

    I had set up a Wyze web camera at my storage facility office a while back. When I was there last I put a thermometer in its view. Just checked and it’s 44f so I don’t worry about freezing the pipes. We’ve seen the last of below zero temperatures around here and should be above freezing by Friday.

    Reading the story below makes me seriously question the sanity of our nation.
    Portland is not using snow plows because they are to big to plow the smaller side streets and to only plow the main thoroughfares would be unfair.
    https://pjmedia.com/columns/victoria-taft/2021/02/16/portlands-so-woke-that-even-the-snow-plows-bow-to-equity-n1425972

    I fear for our children and grandchildren

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  8. Commander Zero says:

    I’m curious….running electric heat off a generator seems like an inefficient way to do things. Had you ever anticipated ’emergency heating’ among your needs and if so, why did you not go with something like a a kerosene heater? How did you arrive at the emergency heating options that you did plan on?

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  9. Greg Norton says:

    Portland is not using snow plows because they are to big to plow the smaller side streets and to only plow the main thoroughfares would be unfair.

    Portland is another friggin’ planet. You better believe that The Pearl has clear streets right now. The Hollywood District too.

    The year we left Vantucky, East Portland, just across the bridge, was fighting a new Trader Joe’s planned for the neighborhood because the residents feared the store would attract the “wrong” demographic to the neighborhood. The year before, Downtown (where the riots happen) fought an Uwajimaya super store similar to the one in Seattle for the same reason.

  10. Chad says:

    I forgot to mention that if you are running less than a full load on the honda, the ECO mode really saves gas. It is using half or less than when running full out. Figure one gallon of gas per hour, depending on load. The generac will run 10-13 hours on one five gallon tank, in theory, and depending on load if you use the throttle control. It tends to surge and lag, so I usually just run it full. Not tonight though, touch wood.

    How many hours of runtime before the oil is supposed to be changed? I’ve always wondered this. If you have to run a generator 24/7 for days on end when should you be changing oil.

    Costco has the best price on maple syrup. That’s all we use here, although I was raised on Aunt Jemihma, and Log Cabin. When I was a kid I thought pure maple syrup was WAY too strong.

    Agreed. I used to be shocked at what tiny bottle of real maple syrup went for in a standard grocery store. Then I discovered the fairly priced 1-quart Costco bottle and that’s the only place I buy it now. I was raised on Log Cabin (maple-flavored corn syrup) and I too thought real maple syrup was a bit strong and a tad runny when I first used it. (It was probably because I was buying dark amber which is strongly flavored.) Now, if I get something other than the real stuff I can tell it instantly and it tastes bland and oddly thick.

    There were LOTS of angry people yelling and cursing that it was CASH ONLY.

    When I worked at a gas station years ago we had a manual imprint thing that used carbon paper in case the credit card functionality of our point-of-sale system was offline. It was handy to have but had its own drawbacks. Word would get around amongst the loser crowd that your credit card machine was offline and all the derelicts with maxed out cards would show up to fill their tanks and buy $100 worth of groceries and alcohol. That’s the downside to those old school imprints – they have no idea what your limit or available balance are.

    I imagine a lot of people just opted to sit in their cards. Comfortable seat, working heater, and they can plug in their devices.

    Honda’s are gold standard

    The high cost of Honda equipment is a bit of punchline in a lot of circles, but you can’t beat Honda small engines for just running when you want them to run. I have a 14 year old Honda lawnmower and when I tune it up every Spring the spark plug is never fouled and the oil always looks relatively clean. Runs like new. Their small engine equipment is almost always top rated in most categories too.

  11. Harold Combs says:

    Mr Zero. I won’t speak for Nick but Emergency heat is way down on the list of things we worry about in the south. Most of us have natural gas furnaces and fire places which are adequate for 99.5% of grid-down situations. Most of our power outages are due to high winds in moderate or even warm weather. You must prepare for the most likely issues in order of risk. I think nick was better prepared for this storm than most in the deep south. He was clearly better prepared than I. Lesson learned.

  12. Harold Combs says:

    Based on nicks experience, we will get a couple of Mr Heater units from our Tractor Supply store when we can get out again. I have a few cases of the small propane cylinders for a camping cooker that should fit it. I also have a couple hundred gallons of propane for my generator. I run it on propane because its much cleaner and oil lasts longer, not to mention propane storage is easy.

  13. Michael J Hart says:

    Mr Combs..you need to keep your Suburban available…don’t know if it is a 4*4 but with snow tires it will get you and your wife anywhere.

  14. Nick Flandrey says:

    Hey guys, running on Honda power again this morning. On the plus side, my renter has power and heat for the moment and says the pipes survived. That’s good, because another of my neighbors had a split leaky pipe in the attic. Galvanized steel so I couldn’t really help without a lot and I mean a lot of effort. Those tools and supplies are buried DEEP.

    @cz- this disaster is so far out that it was WAY down the threat matrix. Still, I’ve got the oil filled heaters, a couple of ceramic space heaters, several of the Mr buddy indoor rated heaters with filters and converter hoses for BBQ tanks if needed, a dozen of the Mr heater style tank top heaters, 3 of the mushroom style patio outdoor heaters, a couple of liquid fuel Coleman old school catalytic heaters, one of those wick style kerosene heaters, and one of the job site dragon kerosene heaters. Gas log in the fireplace too.

    If we get down to the backpacking stoves or hand warmers, we’re in trouble….

    So even though cold doesn’t usually accompany our most common threats, I did cover a few ways to stay warm…

    I’ve got similar gear for cooking too. I like eating.

    Whatever energy source is available, I have a way to use it.

    Nick

  15. Nick Flandrey says:

    @mjh. Sorry for brevity or errors, I am updating from my phone. ( and thanks for both being a faithful reader, and for uncloaking!)

    Wrt being under powered- yes. Thus my self applied boot to @ss. The whole house gennie has been waiting for install for far too long. I give massive credit to my wife who hasn’t mentioned it once…. this whole thing would have barely registered on us of I had that installed.

    The plan was-

    Whole house gennie unless the Nat gas was out. Gasoline generac to feed critical house systems if needed ( which is what we used to do,) Honda inverter based gennie to run small stuff quietly. Batteries solar and inverters for small loads after that. Using both gennies is a bit nuts.

    Since we’re above freezing ATM, we’re using the gas log, a Mr buddy in the back bath, and just running the Honda for convenience power- networking rack, chargers, coffee maker, fridge.

    Biggest issue ATM is no water pressure and boil water advisory. I’m about to try turning the city back on to see if it improved.

    N

  16. Harold Combs says:

    @Michael – my old suburban is 2WD and has highway tires, mostly useless on snow/ice. Last February we tried to use it to get to dialysis in the one snowfall of 2020, we got halfway up a hill and slid down sideways blocking the road. Had to get the rural FD out to get us turned around and send us home. Snow is so unusual here its not worth investing in a whole new set of tires for a couple of days each year. Or so was my thinking.

  17. BillF says:

    Rush Limbaugh passed away it sounds like.

    1
  18. MrAtoz says:

    Rush Limbaugh passed away it sounds like.

    Fox is reporting his widow announced it on the radio show.

    RIP Rush.

    2
  19. Michael J Hart says:

    Nick, your secondary and tertiary plans are were great plus your first line worked. Kids and wife were warm. Love that you kept this site alive. I only commented to question if you would do it differentally. Your Mr. Buddies would of taken care of you, the wife and the girls but reading you I know you are at least three deep worrying about what can happen. You are looking out for your sick neighbors.

    4
    1
  20. JimB says:

    I had not discovered the Mr. Heater Buddy series. They look really great.

    About 40 years ago, I bought two of these:
    https://www.mrheater.com/15-000-btu-single-tank-top-heater.html
    I put each one on a BBQ tank and used them maybe an hour at a time when I needed to work outside. Standing between them is toasty, even on low, even with mild wind. I still have the original tanks and fill, and they seem almost full after maybe ten hours of operation on low. Nice to have just in case. They are not silent, and of course produce an open flame, so care is needed with anything combustible. I wouldn’t use them in the house, but have in the garage. Highly recommended.

  21. JimB says:

    About time I praised Nick and all the others for their preparation and for helping neighbors. You guys rock! A lot to learn here.

    My favorite is to help yourself so you can help others. I have seen the reverse, and it isn’t pretty. People mean well, but sometimes sacrifice themselves or their well being in service of others. A little rational thinking could dramatically improve the situation. Will admit that is sometimes hard to do.

  22. JimB says:

    From 2-15-21 0300:
    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…

    That’s why I always remove power from my computer (think unplugging it) when it is supposed to be OFF. When I had a dedicated UPS, I just shut its output OFF. Now that I no longer have a UPS, a temporary condition that might last for a year or twelve, I use one of those old fashioned power control centers with multiple switches. I actually like these, because I can control lots of things independently. Also, the one I have has a very good surge protector inside, with lots of MOVs, inductors, and capacitors. I can’t see the brand, but think it was made in Utah. Bought it from a thrift store, and checked all its internals. It did not seem to have been used much, and everything checked OK.

    I have bought others just for the switches. They are also handy for all sorts of applications where independent control of various things is needed, like on a test bench. Most expensive one I bought was $5. They are not seen much any more.

    Interestingly, I have not seen my wife’s notebook turn ON in response to its M$ overlord. Don’t know why; maybe I need a watchdog. If it did, I would probably remove its battery, but my wife wouldn’t like that.

    So far, I seem to have Windows 10 updates under my control. I did change a few settings, but nothing exotic. The hardest thing was changing the hours of operation. There is a stupid menu pick that makes it hard to tell AM and PM. Hmm, I wonder if I change to 24 hour time format? I always do that, but haven’t got around to it yet. I have been trying to keep everything as close to stock as I can until I am confident in these two systems. Also, the hours of operation seem to have a limit of something like 12 hours a day. Huh? My computer is ON more than that. Even *I* am ON more than that. The concept of a personal computer seems to have been lost.

  23. BillF says:

    I happened to turn on the Rush show right at the start today – don’t listen as much since he has been having guests. He worked and fought up to the end.

    On a happier note: regarding the tech support call mentioned yesterday. My favorite version goes something like this:
    Hello – my computer won’t turn on.
    OK – can you check and see if it is plugged into an outlet?
    I can’t tell.
    Why not?
    I can’t see the outlet.
    Why not?
    Because it is dark.
    Why is it dark?
    Because the power is out.
    Brief pause
    Do you still have the box?
    Yes.
    Put it in the box and take it back to the store.
    What do I tell them?
    Tell them you are too f@#$ing stupid to own a computer.

  24. Alan says:

    You are looking out for your sick neighbors.

    +100 for nick. And I’d say many here would try to do the same under appropriate circumstances.

  25. Ray Thompson says:

    On a happier note: regarding the tech support call mentioned yesterday. My favorite version goes something like this:

    This actually happened to me. A three prong plug, only plugs in one way.

    Client: My monitor is not working.
    Me: Is it turned on?
    Client: Yes.
    Me: Does it have a power light?
    Client: No.
    Me: Is it plugged in?
    Client: Yes, I just checked.
    Me: Unplug the power cord, turn it upside down, and plug it back in.
    Client: That worked, thanks.

  26. Lynn says:

    I DO NOT WANT TO LIVE IN LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE !!!!!!!!!

    1
  27. CowboySlim says:

    …. 24/7 for days on end …..

    ……24/7 for weeks on end…..

    Fixed it for you.

  28. Harold Combs says:

    Taking the down time (snowed in) to review and update my BOB I carry in the car. Discovered I have too many flashlights. Four flashlights and two head mount lights are really overkill. Also two of the lights had dead batteries and one was severely corroded so I had to toss it. Found I had two sets of Motorola gprs walkie talkies (4 in total) but no AM radio. Fixed that oversight. Added more socks and a long sleeve shirt as well as a couple of mountain house meals. Redistributed things and bagged similar items in ziplock bags. Just waiting for batteries to recharge. Feeling better about it now.

    Sad to hear about Rush. He was a huge force, if not the sole force, in building conservative talk radio. Started listening to him in the late 80s in california and went to one of his “Rush to Excellence” tour shows. Always thoughtful and positive and often funny. He will leave a huge void.

    1
  29. dkreck says:

    two of the lights had dead batteries and ove was severely corroded so I had to toss it

    Well then you didn’t have too many.

  30. Ray Thompson says:

    Discovered I have too many flashlights.

    Never.

    I have two flashlights on me at all times I am out of the house, sometimes three. I have two flashlights in each vehicle. If you count the light on my phone that is another flashlight.

    one was severely corroded

    Use lithium batteries. They do not leak, have excellent shelf life, excellent cold weather performance. Especially useful for the BOB and emergency lights. Never use rechargeable in emergency lights as they are more than likely drained. Keep some extra Alkaline batteries in separate bags where if they leak not an issue.

  31. Greg Norton says:

    I DO NOT WANT TO LIVE IN LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE !!!!!!!!!

    Don’t worry, Michael Landon had the town dynamited and the destruction filmed as the end of the last TV movie so the property owners couldn’t turn it into a tourist spot.

    You literally can’t live in the “Little House” town.

    (Yes, Landon was a creepy freak, beyond loving to tell stories about blinding children.)

    What we’re living is a bad Yakov Smirnoff sketch about life in Russia from the 80s. The other night on Faux News, we even had the obligatory prison-like concrete apartment building featuring exploding plumbing. Not mentioned in the video was that the plumbing has exploded there without cold weather as a factor.

    We haven’t had an issue with power here. I’m beginning to wonder if it is because of our proximity to ERCOT. I know where to take the peasants when they pick up the pitchforks and torches. 🙂

  32. dkreck says:

    Ray ‘Mr Flashlight’ Thompson.

    Just yankin’ yer chain. You’re about twice as prepared as myself but I see nothing wrong with your advice.

  33. Michael J Hart says:

    @ Harold…I live in Wisconsin…no 4 x 2 Suburbans here…for the most part. Grab some snow tires for the Suburban or one of the cars in the fleet and you will be fine to get your wife to dialysis. I dealt with the same thing with my mom, had a great nephrologist but, kidneys are important and tied to every other organ. Like Nick, you have a good plan …keep rocking.

  34. Bob Sprowl says:

    Nick RE: Wallet
    Because I have forgotten my wallet more than once, I keep enough hidden cash in all of my vehicles to fill the gas tank and buy a meal for the several people. I have a copies of my driver’s license and medical insure cards with the money. When my wife was alive, I had copies so her IDs there also.

    I never buy ethanol gas for gas cans and my small motors. I only put real gas in gas cans, etc. Real gas stores without problems for much longer.

    I haven’t posted updates because I’ve been hit with several price increases for the shop and I was having a hard time dealing figuring out how to handle it. Steel, wood, plumbing and electrical all went up in the last two weeks. Each time I thought I had things covered there would be another increase. The last increase left me with a building I didn’t want. I finally took a step back and decided there was no real reason I couldn’t take out an equity loan to get the building I wanted.

    I had planned on refinancing the property after the shop was built and pulling large piece of the savings that I was using for the shop back into my pocket. My cash flow is good and the Credit Union gave me a good rate.

    I read several a books since my last post: “The Parafaith War” by L. E. Modesitt, “Why Call Them Back From Heaven” by Clifford Simax, “The Past Through Tomorrow” by Robert Heinlein, “Starshine”, Vertigo” and “Transcendence” by G. S. Jennsen, “City Girls” by Elizabeth Gilbert, and “The Fallen Race” by Kal Spriggs.

    Worked on my book fixing dates and adding in background in the character summaries (some of which may not get into the book). Got about 50,000 words now.

  35. SteveF says:

    Sad to hear about Rush. He was a huge force, if not the sole force, in building conservative talk radio.

    sine qua non

  36. lynn says:

    Sad to hear about Rush. He was a huge force, if not the sole force, in building conservative talk radio.

    sine qua non

    I have been listening to Rush since 1992 when Bill Clinton was running for Prez. Almost 30 years, on and off. My dad is a subscriber, would listen to the entire three hours at his leisure.

    Rush was one in a trillion, we won’t be getting another like him any time soon. He said “Talent on loan from God” and never a truer statement was made. A severely failed man but a strong believer.

    “Mark Levin pays tribute to Rush Limbaugh: ‘He made it cool to be a patriot'”
    https://www.foxnews.com/media/mark-levin-pays-tribute-rush-limbaugh-cool-patriot

    “Donald Trump Reacts to the Death of Talk Radio Legend Rush Limbaugh: ‘He Was a Fighter’”
    https://trendingpolitics.com/breaking-donald-trump-reacts-to-the-death-of-talk-radio-legend-rush-limbaugh-knab/

  37. lynn says:

    We have power at the house as of 1pm but we do not have water. Our provider sent this out,

    “Dear Quadvest customer:

    Quadvest continues to work on restoring service to our customers. We have experienced damage to 100% of our facilities. In addition, many of our generators are inoperable due to freezing fuel. Road conditions are making this process that much more difficult. Repairs will be a long tedious process, but we will continue to work until all services are restored. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you and your family.

    Please Boil Water Before Consumption”

    Quadvest handles 50 ? 100 ? small water systems in the various counties around Houston with only a couple of hundred customer per water system.

    I am hoping for water soon. We have blown through half of my 32 cases (24 bottles) of bottled water flushing the toilets. No, I do not want to know what each flush is costing me.

    It is so nice to have forced air heat again. I did have about a quarter cord of wood, we burned half of that last night.

  38. Greg Norton says:

    I have been listening to Rush since 1992 when Bill Clinton was running for Prez. Almost 30 years, on and off. My dad is a subscriber, would listen to the entire three hours at his leisure.

    I first heard Limbaugh in 1991. My bi- female friend from engineering school was a *huge* fan, and Feminazi Trading Cards were her favorite bit.

    To her, the Clintons were dangerous and Pat Ireland, who ran NOW, a sellout to their agenda.

    Most politically aware people of my generation growing up in the South knew about the Clintons and Arkansas.

    Later on, I think I was one of the few people who got the joke about where the “Ross Perot Update” theme, the particular mix of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, originated. Rush explained it one day, getting close to the election, but the selection of that piece of music marked him as a true movie geek in my book.

  39. Greg Norton says:

    We need have power at the house but we do not have water.

    Water was sputtering this morning at our house. I figure we were cut off last night because the ice maker hadn’t run to its usual reserve level this morning.

  40. Alan says:

    Use lithium batteries. They do not leak, have excellent shelf life, excellent cold weather performance. Especially useful for the BOB and emergency lights. Never use rechargeable in emergency lights as they are more than likely drained. Keep some extra Alkaline batteries in separate bags where if they leak not an issue.

    If for whatever reason you need to use alkaline batteries stick with Everready. They still have their ‘no leaks’ guarantee.
    Even as battery technology has evolved, battery leaks are still a problem today. Many brands of batteries can still corrode and damage devices after being fully used.
    Energizer® is different. Our batteries are designed to prevent damaging leaks or we will replace your device.
    So when it comes to toys, digital cameras and other valuable devices, you can feel confident knowing you have the long-lasting power and protection you’d expect from Energizer®.

    https://www.energizer.com/about-batteries/no-leaks-guarantee

  41. ITGuy1998 says:

    Because I have forgotten my wallet more than once, I keep enough hidden cash in all of my vehicles to fill the gas tank and buy a meal for the several people.

    Good advice. I need to do this in our cars. I also want to put a lockable box on my sons truck, hidden from view. I’m thinking somewhere out of direct sight, but still reachable without a great amount of effort, such as under the bed on a frame rail. That will take some thinking.

  42. lynn says:

    My 82 and 79 year old parents do not have water or electricity in Port Lavaca. The electricity went off Monday morning. The entire town is down and the main ? only ? water tank has a broken supply pipe (12 inch ? 20 inch ?) UNDER THE TANK which ran out of water last night. My dad went shopping at their HEB this morning and they had the entire place up and running with their super sized emergency generator.

    Mom and Dad do not have any natural gas cooking facilities. My nephew is stopping by in a little while and going to help Dad move the propane grill in the house so he can cook. Dad rebuilt their kitchen 30 years ago and he and I had a long conversation about running a gas line into the kitchen but he did not want to spend the money on cutting the slab. He has now changed his mind. He is also getting a 48 kW generator. They went without power for week after hurricane Harvey and I thought that he was going to get a generator then.

    Dad said that this is just like when we lived in Princeton, NJ from 1960 to 1963 when he was a grad student. We would all bundle up every night at -20 F and he would turn off the heater until we woke up. He was worried about carbon monoxide from the old natural gas heater. The duplex house rental would be 50 F when we woke up. I was four ? weeks old when we moved there from Texas. Oh yeah, he would bring the battery in the house each night from his 48 Dodge so the battery would not freeze.

  43. lynn says:

    Later on, I think I was one of the few people who got the joke about where the “Ross Perot Update” theme, the particular mix of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, originated. Rush explained it one day, getting close to the election, but the selection of that piece of music marked him as a true movie geek in my book.

    Rush was a serious geek / nerd and proudly lived it. Also an Apple fanboi. I don’t know how many Apple iphones and ipads he gave away to listeners but I’ll bet it was in the hundreds on the air.

  44. Greg Norton says:

    Rush was a serious geek / nerd and proudly lived it. Also an Apple fanboi. I don’t know how many Apple iphones and ipads he gave away to listeners but I’ll bet it was in the hundreds on the air.

    I know people who either worked for or were otherwise involved with Apple in the early 90s, and they credit Limbaugh as unpaid spokesperson playing a huge part in saving the company, specifically the Time magazine hit piece from … 1992 (?) — no one remembers the article, but the centerfold photo of that issue features Rush typing on the then new PowerBook, with the Apple logo getting almost as much image space as Limbaugh’s face.

    The PowerBook was nearly half of notebook sales that year. The Apple desktops couldn’t compete with PC clones once Windows 3.1 hit.

    Of course, the credit is assigned behind closed doors, especially now.

    Jobs didn’t return until 1996 … bringing the H. Ross Perot-funded NeXT Step OS with him, foundation of all Apple products today.

    Limbaugh and Ross Perot. Horrify your local Prog Apple fanatic.

    Time has done a good job of making the Limbaugh photo disappear, but H. Ross at NeXT board meetings, arm and arm with Steve Jobs, are not hard to find via Google.

  45. ech says:

    I am sure many of you are seeing social media posts blaming the power shortfall in Texas on windmills freezing.

    That’s part of the story. According to ERCOT, who manages the grid, 16 GW of wind power was offline yesterday. BUT, 30+ GW of “thermal” power (i.e. coal, natural gas, nuclear) was offline at the same time. As usual, it was more complicated than the hot takes.

    Also, the Texas grid has hit peaks of 122 GW in summer. This peak was projected at 75-80 GW. Why the shortfall, then? Because a lot of plants in Texas are taken offline for scheduled maintenance in winter, when demand is lower.

    2
    2
  46. ech says:

    BTW, we were without power from early Monday AM (between 5 and 7) until 7:41 this morning.

    We’ve done wash, run dishwasher, charged phones/Kindles/power packs. Now waiting.

  47. RickH says:

    @lynn — Propane grilling in the house ??? IIRC, that’s a HUGE CO2 poisoning danger !!

    Danger, Wil Robinson !!

    A propane grill is not safe for indoor use, as carbon monoxide buildup can result. Also, because grills give off more heat than ovens, and are less insulated, they can create a fire hazard. Lastly, gas leaks from the tank or connectors can release deadly gas not detected by carbon monoxide detectors.

    Please verify that that will not be done at your parent’s house.

  48. Nick Flandrey says:

    @Lynn, get some buckets out under the drips coming of the roof. I’ve collected almost 20 gallons for flushing. My rain barrels have frozen spigot s that I will deal with if needed, but so far rain collection is working.

    Cleared the gutters on the street. Clogged storm drains and street flooding are not some thing we need to add too the misery.

    We got power back for less than an hour. Just long enough for me to shut down the gennie one minute before it went out again.

    And it just came up…. We’ll see if it stays up this time.

    Sterno Inferno. Neat backup to heat water….

    Need to check stuff…

    N

  49. SteveF says:

    16 GW of wind power was offline yesterday. BUT, 30+ GW of “thermal” power (i.e. coal, natural gas, nuclear) was offline at the same time.

    What fraction of nominal wind (and solar) capacity was offline?
    What fraction of nominal thermal was offline?

    Claiming that more thermal capacity was offline is true but misleading. This is exactly parallel to the claim that more whites than blacks are on public assistance.

  50. MrAtoz says:

    41ºF and snow is melting fast. It’s gonna be a *black ice* event tonight when it freezes.

  51. ech says:

    What fraction of nominal wind (and solar) capacity was offline?
    What fraction of nominal thermal was offline?

    From what I have found, the ERCOT projection was counting on 70 GW of thermal power and 30 GW was offline.
    They were counting on 6 GW of wind, were getting 4 GW, so a 2 GW shortfall.

    So, the thermal plants were the problem. From what I have gathered, it’s mostly natural gas plants offline – the gas lines have lost pressure due to equipment failure. (Pumps not powered, frozen equipment.) One of the 4 nuclear reactors went offline for a while due to cooling water problems, a couple of coal plants have had cold related problems.

    Solar is only a small factor in Texas 1 GW or so peak on sunny days.

  52. TV says:

    @lynn — Propane grilling in the house ??? IIRC, that’s a HUGE CO2 poisoning danger !!
    Danger, Wil Robinson !!

    A propane grill is not safe for indoor use, as carbon monoxide buildup can result. Also, because grills give off more heat than ovens, and are less insulated, they can create a fire hazard. Lastly, gas leaks from the tank or connectors can release deadly gas not detected by carbon monoxide detectors.

    Please verify that that will not be done at your parent’s house.

    Do not use the propane grill in the house unless you are ventilating very well, and even then, you are taking huge risks (especially with carbon monoxide poisoning which you won’t notice until it is too late) with a device never designed to be used inside a house. Do not leave it running overnight to keep the house warm under any circumstances: Whoever sleeps in that house will never wake up. We have several deaths a year in Canada from people doing this. If you have to, use it inside a garage with the main door open but be aware you can light the ceiling on fire. Boil water, put it inside hot water bottles (or empty 2-quart/liter soft drink bottles) and put that under the covers before you go to bed. You will stay toasty until morning. No running water? Melt snow, you are not drinking this stuff. Alternately, heat bricks or large stones, wrap in towel and place in the bed. You just want something to release heat slowly overnight.

  53. dkreck says:

    Y’all down there seem to be telling us lies….
    https://www.google.com/search?q=texas+renewable+energy&rlz=1C1VFKB_enUS867US867&oq=texas+renewable+energy&aqs=chrome..69i57j0i131i433j0i3j0i457j0l6.10324j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    Well someone is. And someone needs to quit serving kool-aid.

  54. lynn says:

    @Lynn, get some buckets out under the drips coming of the roof. I’ve collected almost 20 gallons for flushing. My rain barrels have frozen spigot s that I will deal with if needed, but so far rain collection is working.

    Huge fail, no buckets.

    The office complex has power again and the heaters are both back up to 70 F. I may turn them down to 65 F for now.

    Huge fail, I forgot to turn the water off at the little office (450 ft2) last Friday. I tried to turn off the valve Monday but it was frozen open. When I turned the water well back on, there was a broken pipe in its ceiling coming out at the eve. Right where the turn off valve is so I got soaked turning off the water to the little office. I have not been inside yet to check on water leakage inside. We use the little office for personal storage, actually I want to pour more foundation and convert it to a warehouse so I can rent it out. The big office (5,300 ft2), the warehouse, and the pump house are fine.

  55. lynn says:

    That’s part of the story. According to ERCOT, who manages the grid, 16 GW of wind power was offline yesterday. BUT, 30+ GW of “thermal” power (i.e. coal, natural gas, nuclear) was offline at the same time. As usual, it was more complicated than the hot takes.

    Also, the Texas grid has hit peaks of 122 GW in summer. This peak was projected at 75-80 GW. Why the shortfall, then? Because a lot of plants in Texas are taken offline for scheduled maintenance in winter, when demand is lower.

    Wow, where did you get that number for the Texas peak in the summer ? 122 GW is way beyond the total installed capacity of ERCOT if you include the 31 GW of wind turbines, 5 GW of solar, 70 GW of natural gas, and 10 GW of coal. And 100 MW hydro if the Red River has water in it and Lake Whitney has water in it. The only way that you can get to 122 GW is to include all of the refineries and chemical plants gas turbines and steam topping turbines. And half of those are tripped offline at the moment.

    I’ve been watching Solar all week and it just peaked at 3,500 MW out of 4,400 MW available (not sure what is installed). Fort Bend County is suppose to have 330 MW installed but I am not sure if all of it is online.
    http://www.ercot.com/content/cdr/html/CURRENT_DAYPVCOP_HSL.html

    I’ve been watching the wind turbines all week and the peak daytime power just peaked at 2,800 MW out of 31,000 MW installed.
    http://www.ercot.com/content/cdr/html/CURRENT_DAYCOP_HSL.html

    And both STP nukes tripped offline Sunday night when the air temperature hit 19 F in Bay City. I do not know if they are back online yet, it was a hard trip for both reactors running at 105%.

    BTW, 6 ? 8 ? 10 ? GW of coal units have been mothballed in Texas over the last five years. Looks like the critics are including those numbers. To get those units back online would require EPA permits (most of them were in non-attainment since they did not have SO2 scrubbers and mercury scrubbers) and hundreds of thousands of manhours of labor before they could run again. They are mothballed, not ready reserve. Big Brown: 1.1 GW, Monticello: 1.8 GW, Sandow: 1.1 GW are just a few of them.

    1
  56. lynn says:

    “Texas grid operator braces for record electric demand, warns generators to prepare”
    https://www.utilitydive.com/news/texas-grid-operator-braces-for-record-electric-demand-warns-generators-to/595005/

    “ERCOT is typically a summer peaking system, driven by air conditioning use. The system’s record peak demand of 74,820 MW was set in August 2019.”

    Not 122 GW.

    1
  57. JimB says:

    Regarding AAR, Nick and others in high humidity locations seem to have lots of trouble with stored gasoline going bad. I don’t profess to know that much about storing gasoline, but here in California we have had gasoline spiked with 10% ethanol for decades, and I have never had a problem. Must be the low humidity.

    I have related here that I used to have a 77 Dodge D100 PU that I didn’t drive much. Once, over five years, I only took it out to have it “smogged,” which is our hated term for a biennial emissions inspection. I didn’t put any gasoline in its tank for those five years. The tank is vented to the atmosphere through a charcoal canister. I asked the guy who did the inspection if old gasoline could be a problem, and he said a few months should be OK. I didn’t tell him how long, and it passed just fine. It is easy to take the top off the carb, and I did just for curiosity. It was as clean inside as when I had thoroughly cleaned it when I bought it in 1989. The liquid was clear, and there was no sediment. Not bad. A simple engine (LA 318 for those curious.)

    As for storage cans, my thinking is that an airtight seal is very important. I use steel jerry cans with good gaskets, and tighten the caps with an 18” bar. After filling, I leave them outside in the shade for 24 hours, and then put them in the sun for a while to build pressure and see if there is any odor. If there is, I fix the leak. The only leak point is the cap gasket. I use solid nitrile synthetic rubber for the gaskets, but they do wear. The cans go in a location that stays below 80F year around, and doesn’t vary much over 24 hours. I think this helps.

    I used to rotate my storage every year by putting it in that 77 PU, but I sold it, and the other running cars have modern fuel injection, so I am a little scared to risk them. I did open a can after at least two years (I put the date and other data on the cans with grease pencil,) and the gasoline was clear and smelled normal. I really should start using that gasoline. Maybe I will read up on how to test it for problems. I think gum formation would be the worst problem, but I think gum is the result of oxidation, and the cans are sealed.

    I once bought a bottle of Sta-Bil, intending to put it in a couple of two stroke dirt bikes. I never got around to that. One sat for about ten years, and about half of the fuel evaporated. It is pre mixed synthetic oil and gasoline. I added a little fresh gasoline to replace evaporated volatile components, and it started right up. I wonder if the synthetic oil stabilizes the gasoline? I also wonder how long that bottle of Sta-Bil will last?

  58. lynn says:

    Do not use the propane grill in the house unless you are ventilating very well, and even then, you are taking huge risks (especially with carbon monoxide poisoning which you won’t notice until it is too late) with a device never designed to be used inside a house. Do not leave it running overnight to keep the house warm under any circumstances: Whoever sleeps in that house will never wake up.

    Dad promised me that he would not use the propane grill for heating, only cooking. They have no cooking ability since they lost power Monday morning.

  59. Greg Norton says:

    BTW, 6 ? 8 ? 10 ? GW of coal units have been mothballed in Texas over the last five years. Looks like the critics are including those numbers. To get those units back online would require EPA permits

    You can pretty much forget getting the permits to put the coal units back online in the next four years.

    Here’s the thing. Trump. I’m jus’ sayin’.

    The electric bills are a rounding error in a lot of households in the Texas suburbs. A year from now, this will be forgotten and Robert Francis signs will be back in yards in my neighborhood.

  60. JimB says:

    As for emergency FLASHLIGHTS, I have used Eneloop (worst name ever!) NiMH batteries for several years. According to Panasonic, the new owner of the brand, regular Eneloop batteries retain up to 70% of their energy after 10 years. I have had some for that long, but have used and charged them quite a bit, so can’t confirm the ten year self discharge. I use all my lights, so they are “inspected” frequently, but I would recommend checking unused ones at least once a year. Pick a date that is easy to remember.

    A friend has much more experience with NiMH than I do, and says he has never had one leak. I agree. Also, they are fairly immune to abuse, except overcharge. A good charger prevents that.

    Offhand, I don’t know how well they work at cold temperatures, but that is not an issue for me. I will say they don’t have the capacity of lithium primary (disposable) batteries, but I find it easy to carry spares and a charger. I still use them, but have recently moved most of my FLASHLIGHTS to 18650 rechargeable lithium cells, and am considering 21700s for some applications. In my limited experience, these don’t have the long life of NiMH, and are more sensitive to abuse, but DO pack a punch for their weight (not volume.) TANSTAAFL!

  61. Chad says:

    Regarding AAR, Nick and others in high humidity locations seem to have lots of trouble with stored gasoline going bad. I don’t profess to know that much about storing gasoline, but here in California we have had gasoline spiked with 10% ethanol for decades, and I have never had a problem. Must be the low humidity.

    I believe the trick is to buy non-Ethanol gasoline when possible and store it in a METAL can leaving as little air space as you can and tightly sealing the cap. Though, that doesn’t account for thermal variation. You can that gas in January and there might be some unsafe pressure in the can come August. The reverse is an issue too. I’ve had solvents in thin-walled cans leak because I used them in summer and when winter came a vacuum was created in the can and it collapsed in on itself enough to crease the metal and form a hole/split. So, you need a pretty sturdy metal container. Kerosene and diesel store much better.

    I don’t store more than about 5 gallons of gasoline. I am tempted to store more, but rotating it and storing it just feels unsafe and can be quite a hassle.

  62. RickH says:

    @lynn

    If

    Dad promised me that he would not use the propane grill for heating, only cooking. They have no cooking ability since they lost power Monday morning.

    Then leave it on the back porch. Don’t bring it inside. Even well-ventilated will cause ‘not waking up’ problems. And your CO2 detector won’t detect it.

    You will not wake up. Do not bring it in the house for any reason.

    I tell you three times.

  63. nick flandrey says:

    Well, power is up for a while so I booted the big pc.

    First some stuff I missed up thread….

    “Generators are cheap” — CHEAP generators are cheap. Good generators are NOT cheap. But they are cheaper than frozen pipes flooding your house. The example is the ‘construction’ grade open frame gasoline generator. Built for jobsites, and running motors on power tools. NOT built for running electronics. Wildly variable voltage and frequency. Very loud. Most recommend an oil change with every other refuel if you really wanted to follow the book. Power is ‘dirty’ as dirt- spikes, variations, poor sine wave, lot of hamonics, just nasty. Even though my generac is a pretty good unit, I did damage the control board for my HVAC and my fridge last time we used it for any length of time. You know it’s bad when the UPS won’t charge.

    FWIW, the Honda inverter 2k “suitcase” generators are the gold standard for quiet reliable but LOW AMPS usage. The 3K version I’ve been using has been a champ. I don’t know about the copies by other brands, there are youtube comparisons. AVOID the Harbor Freight gennies, they just aren’t worth it no matter what some guy on the internet says. They are NOT the same as the Honda.

    The same holds true for the cheap whole house gennies from Home Depot or costco. They are only built to run intermittently, are air cooled, can be loud, and need a lot of oil changes. If they’re in a ‘sculpted’ plastic enclosure, they are probably not going to last under real use. That said, most will never GET real use, and any gennie is better than no gennie, like a lot of preps.

    Regarding oil changes– yes if you follow the book they need a lot of oil changes. That said, I’ve never changed the oil in my generac. I will after this time, promise. The biggest usage was Ike where it ran ~12hr/day for 14 days. Like I said, an absolute brick sh!thouse of a machine. It’s really too bad they don’t make it anymore.

    n

  64. Lynn says:

    How many hours of runtime before the oil is supposed to be changed? I’ve always wondered this. If you have to run a generator 24/7 for days on end when should you be changing oil.

    100 hours. The ratio of equivalence is 1 hour of runtime to 30 miles.

  65. Harold Combs says:

    Just got up from a nap first time Islept peacefullythis week. We have power heat and water and the end is in sight if not near. Got off better than many folks.
    It’s 12f and overcast here in Indian country but the snow stopped around noon. We have about 14 inches in the driveway and I’m not trying to drive till tomorrow.
    All the 18650 lithium batteries for the flashlights are recharged. It was a 18650 lithium that leaked and ruined a flashlight. All the others were ENELOOP. Dug out the “Batteries and chargers” box that I haven’t opened since I packed for the move in Nov 2019. The AA and AAA batteries in there are all Ni-MH slow self discharge. The ones I tested still have over 3/4 charge after having last been charged in jan 2019. Going through and charging them all.
    Next week, project #1 is getting a transfer panel installed for the generator. Pretty stupid to have power if you can’t use it.

  66. nick flandrey says:

    Ok, gasoline and storage…

    NON hurricane season I try to have only 35 gallons on hand. That’s 7 five gallon cans. Emphasis on the math because it sure seems like a lot when you line them up.

    I picked 35 gallons because that is one refuel for the truck, or the minivan, plus some extra. Someone once suggested having at least one full refuel so if you did bug out you could leapfrog the rest of the folks who drained the gas stations one tank out of town….

    or two weeks of running your generator minimal amounts, just to keep freezers cold, etc.

    DURING hurricane season, I tend to add gas cans whenever it strikes me or I find another can.

    I’ve got a big “Flammables” storage cabinet I keep it all in now. Didn’t used to. Just kept it in the shade of the garage in Rubbermaid storage cabinets.

    I try to remember to add stabil to each can as I put it in the cabinet, but sometimes I forget. And I always say I’ll write the date, but again, usually I forget. I do have a FIFO system in that I move it from the bottom shelf upward as I use and replace. The top shelf always has the oldest.

    Some people have had stabil turn to jelly in the gas, but until yesterday I don’t think I ever came close to that. And I am tending toward, water emulsified in the gasoline at this point. or oil got in somehow (like the used can was holding diesel or something).

    Anyway, I always try to add stabil, and haven’t had many issues over the years. It usually looks and smells fine. VERY small engines should always have fresh fuel.

    The way it gets water in it here, the ‘cans’ are plastic. They swell with the heat driving out vapor and then shrink with the cool, which draws in air. Moist air. The water condenses into the gas, or gets adsorbed by the alcohol in the gas. This pumping action of hot and cool will draw in a bunch of water over time. That’s what happened with my generac between hurricane season and now.

    At least that’s what I think is happening. Thermal cycling and moist air combine with those damnable CARB compliant “cans” and you get water in the gas, which is exacerbated by the high alcohol content.

    I’m sure there is an error or three in there somewhere but it describes the problem well enough to have working solutions….

    -keep the gas at a constant temp if possible.
    -use good cans that are actually airtight
    -rotate
    -use a pump to transfer fuel and avoid sucking from the bottom. (well designed gear like the honda has a well at the bottom of the tank to collect water below the point where the gas is drawn off.)
    -use alcohol free gas if you can

    n

  67. paul says:

    Yesterday was 1F. The CPVC hot water line to the kitchen sink decided to say “eff it”. Of course it did, why else would the crappy wadded up newspaper covered with duct tape direct the spray of water up through the wall, enough water to soak 15 or so bath towels.

    It’s a screwed up piping job. Up and over and up again and over some more before going into the wall. No particular reason beyond “45 degree angle is hard”. Something flexible seems to be the way to go.

    Anyway. Capped off. No hot water in the kitchen. Nice and clean under the dishwasher.

    Today? Ah… crap. The hot line to the washing machine showed attitude. While trying to cut the pipe with the pipe cutting pliers, the pipe split lengthwise. That’s a first for me. Yeah, another up and over and up with the piping. Capped that off. We can use cold water for laundry.

    Thing is, I don’t have a way to drip that circuit. Yet.

    The bestest part is that the snow from a couple of days ago, the snow that covered the front of the cars in the boat shed and almost to the back of the shed? Yeah, that snow. Blew up under the house just as much.
    So, lots of mud. Sticky mud.

    On the plus side, the electricity has not so much as flickered.

    Chili Mac for supper. Not from a mix.

    1
  68. nick flandrey says:

    We’ve been eating mostly ‘heat and eat’ or one pot meals just from convenience. We could still cook normally on the grill and with the coleman…

    Speaking of Coleman stoves… At one point I had a bunch of ‘kitchens’ made up, with a couple of pots, some paper and plastic dishes, coleman fuel stove, and some other stuff so I could hand someone the kit and a bucket of rice and they wouldn’t starve. I’ve offered coleman stoves to 3 of my neighbors so far and none of them knew how to run one and all declined. Running one was pretty common when I was a kid so I’m a bit surprised. They were all willing to think about a propane stove, but we’ve only got the one double burner and we’re using it.

    Granted that propane is easier, the liquid fuel is much better than none, and it’s what I’d be using if I was doing the cooking this time around.

    I may have to rethink my stove situation, and I can probably safely sell a few. At least a few.

    n

  69. nick flandrey says:

    This is the “stove” I mentioned earlier

    https://www.amazon.com/Sterno-70138-Stove-Size-Multicolor/dp/B0169ZDUOM?tag=ttgnet-20

    The Sterno Inferno. Even without a lid on the pot, it boiled a full pot of water in 14 minutes using sterno. Sterno is pretty safe and easy to store, as well as being cheap. The pot is big enough for rehydrating freeze dried foods, soup, or a couple cups of coffee.

    Did I mention that I like to eat? And that I have a bunch of ways to heat food?

    n

    (used it for the first time today to make some hot tea, so not a definitive review or recco but it did the job, is lightweight, and uses a fuel that is easy to store.)

  70. Greg Norton says:

    At one point I had a bunch of ‘kitchens’ made up, with a couple of pots, some paper and plastic dishes, coleman fuel stove, and some other stuff so I could hand someone the kit and a bucket of rice and they wouldn’t starve. I’ve offered coleman stoves to 3 of my neighbors so far and none of them knew how to run one and all declined.

    Your neighbors didn’t think about stocking up on a few canned goods when the forecast showed single digit low temps a week out?

    The HEB lines after only a few days are unreal.

  71. Nick Flandrey says:

    @greg, all of my neighbors so far have food. They all have drinking water. Few of them had any way to cook it. The houses in our neighborhood were all built in the late 60s and feature electric ranges. Thank gnu that they also had gas heat and gas hot water. Only a few homes have been upgraded over the years to gas ranges.

    To address that very issue, I saved the side burner from a couple of scrapped BBQ grills, and the wheeled cart. I had essentially a wheeled two burner outdoor stove that ran on propane. Unfortunately it vanished on a ‘big trash’ day, victim to my wife running our of patience.

    I think tomorrow I’ll be firing up the turkey fryer and heating several gallons of water for dishes. I might even try out my ‘hobo’ clothes washer as I’m short on long sleeve shirts and it might be worth the trial.

    We’re supposed to get some water back late tonight and more pressure tomorrow, but I’m not holding my breath, so I might just run some rainwater thru the Sawyer filter, then boil it. We’re under a boil order anyway even if the taps do work. I’ve got LOTS of stored drinking water though.

    n

  72. drwilliams says:

    @JimB
    “A lesson is that computers and phones are enormously complex, and there should be better ways for people to learn to use them. Most of us have spent nearly a lifetime getting to where we are, and we tend to forget all that. ”

    Yeah, but…
    What about: “Learn to code?”
    The guvamint sez it’s easy.

    Seriously:
    NFW. People couldn’t program their vcr’s.

  73. Harold Combs says:

    Just read on Instapundit that Facebook has banned an entire country.
    They will not allow anyone to post or share Australian news on FB?
    LOL … The Aussies are better off without FB.

  74. Greg Norton says:

    Just read on Instapundit that Facebook has banned an entire country.
    They will not allow anyone to post or share Australian news on FB?
    LOL … The Aussies are better off without FB.

    The entire planet would be better off without Facebook, Zuckerberg, and “Lean In”.

  75. Nick Flandrey says:

    Scanning thru the thread again, I see a couple of more points….

    @commander zero – you asked if running electric heat off a gennie made sense… yes and no. I was running two 1500w oil filled radiator type heaters off the Honda EU3000i, one on each circuit. I was running the honda anyway, to provide good clean power for our electronics and charging, so part of the cost was already spent, so to speak. One heater was in the garage, completely unattended. I’d never do that with a flame based heater. The other was in the back half of my house, supplemental to the natgas fireplace and the Mr Buddy in the bathroom. Again, it was much safer than alternatives and only took checking on it whenever I walked by. The Mr Buddy ran with occasional checks, but it was in the middle of a tile floor, feet from anything flammable, and has a good safety system.

    Later I loaned one of the heaters to the neighbor to put in his attic to thaw pipes which is another place I’d be hesitant to put fire, no matter how tame. Today I loaned the garage heater to a friend who has a small house, that he’s not set up to feed from his gennie. The oil filled radiators are very kid and pet safe which was a factor too.

    Even with the power back on, I ran the garage heater from the gennie so as to not add it to the grid load. Seems kinda selfish, even to me, to heat my garage with the limited grid power when others are sitting in the dark.

    WRT kerosene, I picked up an older model, looked a lot like this but with a square drip tray under it https://www.amazon.com/Kero-World-KW-24G-Portable-Convection/dp/B000050I7X/?tag=ttgnet-20 but I’ve never used it. It needed a battery cover (which I ordered and received, but never installed) and I didn’t even know that it needed a wick (maybe). It’s been in storage as a DEEP backup. I brought it to the house and it has kero in it, but I couldn’t find my 5 gallon can of kero, so even if it works, it has a limited run time. Never having run it, I’d be wary of loaning it out too. If I have the time, I’ll fire it up “just ‘cuz”….

    I also have one of these https://www.amazon.com/Dyna-Glo-KFA50DGD-Kerosene-Forced-Heater/dp/B0044R8Y3K/?tag=ttgnet-20 for very large areas or outdoor use, and I could steal the kero from it if needed. This whole outage was supposed to be only a couple of days though so I figured I didn’t need to spend the time on the kerosene heaters.

    n

    Thanks for the link btw… glad to share a bit of my experiences and fails during this. Every additional prepared person is one that won’t be knocking on my door when the zombies come…

  76. Nick Flandrey says:

    @lynn,

    “Dad promised me that he would not use the propane grill for heating, only cooking. ”

    –DON’T BELIEVE HIM. Aging parents will think they know best. A few years ago I visited my mom and dad in Florida, at the trailer park where they spent the winter. I was horrified that the trailer didn’t have a single CO monitor, especially when mom talked about getting headaches and I found out that dad would run the oven with the door open rather than get the furnace fixed.

    I bought them a couple of state of the art monitors and went home. Some time later I asked my mom about it, and she said dad had ripped them out and smashed them— because they kept going off.

    Shortly after that my sibling bought a condo and pretty much forcibly moved them to it bullied them into moving, and got rid of the trailer.

    I don’t know your dad, but if he thought it was a great idea, I doubt he’d have given you the chance to talk him out of it.

    n

  77. RickH says:

    The FB/Oz situation is based on $$, of course.

    Facebook said Wednesday that it is preventing people inside Australia from accessing news stories on its platform. In addition, Facebook users elsewhere will not be able to view or share news stories from Australian outlets. The moves are a response to proposed legislation that would force social media platforms to pay Australian news organizations for links shared on its sites.

    Facebook’s announcement came the same day Google said it had reached a deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which owns Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, to pay for its journalism.

    Facebook, however, chose the nuclear option rather than bargain with news publishers in Australia.

  78. Nick Flandrey says:

    “Huge fail, no buckets.”

    –trash cans with liners. Flip top bins (empty the contents into an unused room temporarily). Recycle bin. Laundry basket lined with a contractor bag? milk crate with trash can liner. Big flower pots…..

    Get creative!

    n

    Also, 5 gallon buckets are cheap and EXCEEDINGLY handy for preppers…. just don’t store them in the sunlight, or near chlorine.

  79. Nick Flandrey says:

    The other side of the neighborhood lost power, we might be next….
    n

  80. lynn says:

    “A.F. Branco Cartoon – Frozen New Deal”
    https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-frozen-new-deal/

    “Green-New-Deal style policies are claiming lives due to frozen windmills. Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2021.”

  81. MrAtoz says:

    FWIW, the Honda inverter 2k “suitcase” generators are the gold standard for quiet reliable but LOW AMPS usage.

    I have the set. 2K Honda with the 2K Companion and crossover cable. MrsAtoz threw out some adapters during the move. Grrrr.

  82. MrAtoz says:

    SAWS (water company) in SA advises we boil water “just to be sure”. I’ll use filters instead for drinking.

  83. SteveF says:

    and she said dad had ripped them out and smashed them— because they kept going off.

    Yep. I experience that here, with the natural gas detector(s) I’ve put in near the stove. They kept going off so they got pulled out of the outlet and then damaged in removing the batteries. (It wasn’t always my mother-in-law doing it. In the long-forgotten past, when parties were permitted, my wife would often invite a dozen or six guests and the grannies would all gather in the kitchen to cook and talk and leave a burner on but unlit.)

    It’s one of the reasons I’ll be working from home indefinitely even after my employer resumes working from an office. (Or, equivalently, why I’m looking only for 100% remote contracts with no travel.) Someone needs to keep an eye on the granny to make sure she doesn’t hurt herself or burn the house down.

  84. Ray Thompson says:

    Facebook, however, chose the nuclear option rather than bargain with news publishers in Australia.

    Good for them. I am not a FB fanboy, but someone needs to stand up to the news organizations. The organizations are not as valuable as they think. Times are changing, adapt or cease to exist.

    2
    1
  85. Ray Thompson says:

    SAWS (water company) in SA advises we boil water “just to be sure”

    A friend in Austin was told by their water company to cease dripping faucets. It was wasting water and dropping the pressure. I would think pipes would take priority. A broken pipe could be thousands in damages and could take a long time to repair. Plumbers all over Texas are going to be working 18 hours a day for months.

    1
  86. lynn says:

    “More very cold weather coming—power sure would be nice”
    https://spacecityweather.com/more-very-cold-weather-coming-power-sure-would-be-nice/

    One of my guys is calling ERCOT by a new name, ERCAUGHT.

  87. ITGuy1998 says:

    A friend in Austin was told by their water company to cease dripping faucets. It was wasting water and dropping the pressure.

    Their goals are not your goals.

  88. Ray Thompson says:

    According the local news forecast I am supposed to get 1″ to 2″ of snow tonight. Schools are closed tomorrow. The weather app I use, Dark Sky, has indicated the low tonight will be 34f. I doubt there will be any snow. Again as before, the weather liars, seeking ratings and screen time, will have gotten it wrong.

  89. drwilliams says:

    Cold doesn’t just hurt, cold kills, and it kills a lot more people than heat. At the end of this, someone will have a number.

    What follows is a bit of a rant. No one here should take it as personal criticism in any way, shape, form, or penumbra.

    The best thing that could come out of the energy debacle in Texas is a state requirement requiring accurate cost accounting for every energy source and every operational constraint placed on utilities by public regulation.

    People now know that green energy isn’t reliable. That’s people in the U.S., who are too enthusiastically ignorant about the world that they couldn’t be bothered to read about the lessons already learned elsewhere (Great Britain, Germany) and ask about their own situation.

    Wind turbines and solar cells are not reliable sources of energy. Their actual value is limited to the reduced cost of fuel in conventional power plants and discounted further by the increased costs they impose on the grid, including direct costs in operating other sources less efficiently, and in reduced reliability.

    (When lots of people start buying generators, how long will it be before the progs propose subsidies for low-income?)

    Unfortunately, the green energy reality message has been diluted by a bunch of total cockups. There is no excuse for nuclear, natural gas, or fuel oil generation to be going off-line due to equipment getting too cold. Also no excuse for those plants to be short on fuel.

    The excuses all boil down to some version of “It’s not economical to prepare for a rare event.” Bull. Last one was a bit more than 30 years ago. Got a nickel? I’m in a betting mood. Bet one that senior engineers at the power companies during the 1980’s cold snap wrote AAR’s. Bet two that insurance companies did, too. Bet three that the PUC can put the screws and get those reports.

    Not even going to offer to take a nickel on this one: Any recommendation for winterizing equipment or stockpiling fuel are routine operations for producing power a few hundred miles to the north.

    Gonna make a SWAG here: The ROI on doing all of that preparing is better than the ROI on any freaking mega-windmill ever built.

    1
  90. drwilliams says:

    @Ray @ITGuy1998

    A friend in Austin was told by their water company to cease dripping faucets. It was wasting water and dropping the pressure.

    Their goals are not your goals.

    I doubt both, but the simple test is to collect the water and use it to flush toilets. If the water collected is insufficient to the task, then I’d say my doubts were justified.

    And that’s before accounting for the water lost due to burst pipes.

  91. lynn says:

    Regarding oil changes– yes if you follow the book they need a lot of oil changes. That said, I’ve never changed the oil in my generac. I will after this time, promise. The biggest usage was Ike where it ran ~12hr/day for 14 days. Like I said, an absolute brick sh!thouse of a machine. It’s really too bad they don’t make it anymore.

    Is the Generac one of the liquid cooled models or air cooled models ?

  92. Harold Combs says:

    FYI: I have one of these in all three bathrooms. Tried one out once, it works but is not as convenient as tap water. However, having a few hundred gallons of drinking water when needed can be a lifesaver.
    Water BOB https://www.amazon.com/WaterBOB-Emergency-Container-Drinking-Hurricane/dp/B001AXLUX2/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Bathtub+Water+Bladder&qid=1613622028&sr=8-2&tag=ttgnet-20

  93. lynn says:

    Just found out that the compatibility pack for Office 2003 that allows one to read in DOCX files is not compatible with Windows 10. I have Office 2003 at home and just updated to Windows 10 x64 Pro to run TurboTax 2020. This sucks.

  94. lynn says:

    FYI: I have one of these in all three bathrooms. Tried one out once, it works but is not as convenient as tap water. However, having a few hundred gallons of drinking water when needed can be a lifesaver.
    Water BOB https://www.amazon.com/WaterBOB-Emergency-Container-Drinking-Hurricane/dp/B001AXLUX2/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Bathtub+Water+Bladder&qid=1613622028&sr=8-2&tag=ttgnet-20

    The water is on for the third time today at the house. The wife filled the tub in our master bath during the second time the water was on. It reminds me of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate River. But, it is awesome for flushing potties if/when the water dies again. Much cheaper than using Ozarka water bottles.

  95. nick flandrey says:

    “Is the Generac one of the liquid cooled models or air cooled models ? ”

    –it’s the generac 4000xl

    the xl is for ‘extended life’ which has proven to be true, even if the manf quit supporting it a decade ago.

    Mine looks about like the one in the video

    https://www.reviewsworthy.net/portable-generators/generac-4000xl-portable-generator-review

    n

  96. Alan says:

    The HEB lines after only a few days are unreal.

    Made even longer by the six foot social distancing, right?? And everyone double masked…

  97. Alan says:

    A friend in Austin was told by their water company to cease dripping faucets. It was wasting water and dropping the pressure.

    Wife heard on the news that low pressure was affecting one of the hospitals. She just recalls that it was in TX so may not be in Austin.

  98. lynn says:

    Speaking of Coleman stoves… At one point I had a bunch of ‘kitchens’ made up, with a couple of pots, some paper and plastic dishes, coleman fuel stove, and some other stuff so I could hand someone the kit and a bucket of rice and they wouldn’t starve. I’ve offered coleman stoves to 3 of my neighbors so far and none of them knew how to run one and all declined. Running one was pretty common when I was a kid so I’m a bit surprised. They were all willing to think about a propane stove, but we’ve only got the one double burner and we’re using it.

    Granted that propane is easier, the liquid fuel is much better than none, and it’s what I’d be using if I was doing the cooking this time around.

    Dad and I went fishing at least one weekend a month back in the middle 1960s. He always brought a Coleman stove to cook with using white gasoline (condensate drip). We always had chili and Fritos with lots of onions ! He also ran the same white gas in his 50 hp boat motor. That white gas burned hot and would always start.

  99. Nick Flandrey says:

    Power is back up. We lost it just before I hit ‘post’ on a comment that ITguy1998 beat me to the reply, their goals are not your goals.

    34F and slowly falling. Very light snow flurries.

    n

    1
  100. Alan says:

    The best thing that could come out of the energy debacle in Texas is a state requirement requiring accurate cost accounting for every energy source and every operational constraint placed on utilities by public regulation.

    This lost any chance of happening when you included the word “accurate.” The two sides (red & blue) will never agree to a common definition of ‘accurate.’

    There is no excuse for nuclear, natural gas, or fuel oil generation to be going off-line due to equipment getting too cold. Also no excuse for those plants to be short on fuel.

    So on who’s desk does the buck stop?
    The head of ERCOT? Then fire him/her/them (included all options there)?
    The Governor? Impeach him/vote him out of office?

  101. Nick Flandrey says:

    got tomorrows post in the queue, and I’m going to bed.

    n

  102. lynn says:

    “Dad promised me that he would not use the propane grill for heating, only cooking. ”

    –DON’T BELIEVE HIM. Aging parents will think they know best. A few years ago I visited my mom and dad in Florida, at the trailer park where they spent the winter. I was horrified that the trailer didn’t have a single CO monitor, especially when mom talked about getting headaches and I found out that dad would run the oven with the door open rather than get the furnace fixed.

    Dad and Mom have at least two CO monitors in their house. They just replaced their 30 year old furnace with a new model since Dad and I spent three hours trying to fix the pilot light valve on the old furnace right before Christmas. He was concerned about CO from the old furnace. Or, any furnace since he has three furnaces in the house.

    The problem is that he no longer has a back porch to do his grilling on. He converted the back porch into a 20 ft by 40 ft game room where he and Mom hang out all day listening to the radio and watching their 80 inch tv. So, he wants to grill in the game room until the electricity is back on.

  103. Chad says:

    Cold doesn’t just hurt, cold kills, and it kills a lot more people than heat. At the end of this, someone will have a number.

    Unless postmortem testing reveals they were positive for COVID-19. Then they didn’t die from the cold. They died from COVID-19.

    1
    2
    1
  104. lynn says:

    Thanks for the link btw… glad to share a bit of my experiences and fails during this. Every additional prepared person is one that won’t be knocking on my door when the zombies come…

    Am I the only person thinking that the response to the snowpocalypse in Texas is a good test run for the MZB invasion ?

    For those who do not know, MZB is the term for Mutant Zombie Bikers in the awesome book “Lights Out”.
    https://www.amazon.com/Lights-Out-David-Crawford/dp/0615427359/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Oh yeah, I’ve got my crazy on tonight.

  105. lynn says:

    I am loving Alan Alda playing a lawyer in “The Good Fight” on CBS All Access.
    https://www.cbs.com/shows/the-good-fight/photos/1008894/all-the-amazing-guest-stars-on-the-good-fight-so-far/

    Alan Alda is so good even though he is massive liberal.

  106. lynn says:

    And the house water is off again. I considering digging an outhouse in the backyard tomorrow. Just a single holer.

  107. Alan says:

    I am loving Alan Alda playing a lawyer in “The Good Fight” on CBS All Access.

    @lynn; have you seen him in the last season of Ray Donovan? (Showtime)

  108. JimB says:

    Gasoline storage:
    The way it gets water in it here, the ‘cans’ are plastic.

    That is why I only use metal cans. Mine are steel because rust is not a problem here, but stainless or aluminum would be possible. Of course, aluminum might have corrosion issues where you are. Galvanized steel would be good if hot dipped, and terne would be excellent, but again hard to find. Plastic is just unacceptable.

    We used to add alcohol to gasoline when I lived in the Midwest. It absorbed moisture and prevented ice in the fuel line. Only a pint of 90% isopropyl alcohol once in the Fall. Never had a problem. Ethanol was too expensive because it was taxed.

    If there is no alcohol in the gasoline, some water will still emulsify and can create problems. I am no chemist, so am not sure why this is, but it probably has to do with various additives. Once MTBE was banned, I have never seen gasoline without ethanol here in California, but have not looked except out of curiosity. 10% or so will absorb plenty of moisture to prevent freezing.

    Incidentally, the hot rodders are now using E85 for engines with high pressure forced induction (super- or turbochargers.) They can get extreme outputs, on the order of 3 or more hp per cubic inch. I can’t remember how much the E85 contributes, but it is substantial. They think of it as cheap horsepower, because they used to use racing gasoline, which is very expensive. The old saw, “Speed is expensive. How fast do you want to go?” is true. BTW, E85 is only 51% to 83% ethanol, with the higher amount in summer. I would bet that if it is widely adopted, we will have the aldehyde pollution similar to Brazil. TANSTAAFL again!

  109. lynn says:

    The best thing that could come out of the energy debacle in Texas is a state requirement requiring accurate cost accounting for every energy source and every operational constraint placed on utilities by public regulation.

    This lost any chance of happening when you included the word “accurate.” The two sides (red & blue) will never agree to a common definition of ‘accurate.’

    We used to do that energy accounting when I worked at TXU. For some reason the PUC’s calculators always dropped a $100 million from our calculated fuel expenses over the prior 12 months (we spent $2.1 to $2.3 billion per year on fuel from 1986 to 1989). They would throw out items like emergency fuel oil (diesel) for starting the coal units and their supplemental steam boilers for startup steam. Only a few million gallons of diesel per year. We always sued them and we always won to tremendous legal expenses. Of which, the ratepayers paid. That all changed when Texas moved the economic dispatch to ERCOT and 15 minute dutch auctions in 1995 ???.
    http://www.ercot.org/about/wc/rt.html

    Works great until you run out of generators as NO ONE has the responsibility to make sure that there are enough generators built to meet all demand, not just the 98% demand. That last 2% is very expensive to make power on as that $100 million gas turbine plant that never gets built because the power is too expensive.

    Plus with the fact that the PUC members have a green agenda that forces wind turbines with 30% capacity factors to the built and run over reliable gas turbines. At the end of the day, both are built but only to meet the 98% demand, not the 100% demand. And this year, we needed the 100% demand in Texas.

    BTW, the forecast power demand in the morning is 66,000 MW. The plan only has 61,000 MW of generation in it. Looks like somebody is going to get the short end of the stick in the morning. Again.
    http://www.ercot.com/

  110. JimB says:

    This actually happened to me. A three prong plug, only plugs in one way.

    Client: My monitor is not working.
    Me: Is it turned on?
    Client: Yes.
    Me: Does it have a power light?
    Client: No.
    Me: Is it plugged in?
    Client: Yes, I just checked.
    Me: Unplug the power cord, turn it upside down, and plug it back in.
    Client: That worked, thanks.

    It’s late, and I am beat, but I don’t understand this. 🙁

  111. lynn says:

    “The Texas grid got crushed because its operators didn’t see the need to prepare for cold weather”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/02/16/ercot-texas-electric-grid-failure/

    “What has sent Texas reeling is not an engineering problem, nor is it the frozen wind turbines blamed by prominent Republicans. It is a financial structure for power generation that offers no incentives to power plant operators to prepare for winter. In the name of deregulation and free markets, critics say, Texas has created an electric grid that puts an emphasis on cheap prices over reliable service.”

    Yup. Only the next 15 minutes matters to ERCOT. This needs to change.

  112. lynn says:

    My parents got their electricity back at 1205am. They are watching tv and is surfing the web at 1am. Both are news junkies and missing the intertubes.

  113. lynn says:

    “Texas Spins Into the Wind”
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-spins-into-the-wind-11613605698?st=q705aww5dhmne91&reflink=share_mobilewebshare

    “An electricity grid that relies on renewables also needs nuclear or coal power.”

    “While millions of Texans remain without power for a third day, the wind industry and its advocates are spinning a fable that gas, coal and nuclear plants—not their frozen turbines—are to blame. PolitiFact proclaims “Natural gas, not wind turbines, main driver of Texas power shortage.” Climate-change conformity is hard for the media to resist, but we don’t mind. So here are the facts to cut through the spin.”

    “Some readers have questioned our reporting Wednesday (“The Political Making of a Texas Power Outage”) that wind’s share of electricity generation in Texas plunged to 8% from 42%. How can that be, they wonder, when the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (Ercot) has reported that it counts on wind to meet only 10% of its winter capacity.”

    If you wanna be there for the good times then you gotta be there for the bad times. And wind and solar are not there for the bad times.

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