Sat. Feb. 20, 2021 – 02202021 – another funny number on a not so funny day

Cold again.   This is really starting to get old, ya know?  I’d hate for this to be the beginning of the new normal.  A whole lotta people are gonna starve if the US can’t produce and export a whole lotta extra food.  Global warming has always been a more human friendly trend than global cooling.   I guess that’s why they hate it so much.

Spent yesterday getting ready to go to my rent house, then coming home.  Don’t know what I’ll be doing today but it’s probably going to revolve around drinking water.

I opened two aquatainers last night and both were contaminated.     One had the spigot crack, which let air and ‘stuff’ into the jug.    There is nasty looking stuff on the bottom of the jug, and the water smells of mold or mildew.

The other jug was stored with the spigot reversed and inside the jug (as I learned to do years ago) but the screw cap had loosened.    Faint ‘stale’ odor, and some sand or sediment at the bottom of the jug.    Prepper fail.

Both jugs spent the summer and fall sitting in the driveway, heating and cooling every day, eventually pumping air into the jug.   Previously I’ve had water in aquatainers, treated with bleach, that was perfectly drinkable after 7 years.   That jug was stored in the proverbial ‘cool dark place’ though.

I didn’t find out until around midnight, since we haven’t had to even crack the stored drinking water to that point.  My interim solution was to put a pot of tap water on the boil, so I could refill the brita filter and make coffee in the morning.    That’s why I think I’ll be looking more closely at our stored water today, in the daylight.

I trusted the aquatainers to perform as they had in the past without considering that conditions had changed.  Prepper fail.

The aquatainers are generally quite good and I recommend having some.  They are about as big as can be reasonably handled at 7 gallons.  They have a couple of weaknesses though.  The spigots are fragile.   To combat that, I take the cap off, unscrew the spigot and rescrew it into the cap from the inside.    That puts it inside the jug when stored, which is safer for it.   It must be sterile and spotlessly clean when you do that though.   You can also replace the spigot with a plumbing fitting.   The threads are standard, and a simple plug can be screwed in.   It’s also a good idea to order and stock some replacements for the spigots, and for the cap over the breather hole.  I’ve got several of each.

Like most plastics, they will become brittle and crack if left in the sun long enough- so don’t.   The biggest downside, as far as I’m concerned, is you can’t stack them, and you can’t lay them on their side and leave them like that either for storage, or for dispensing.

When I fill them, I use chlorinated tap water and add plain bleach.  There are a lot of official and semi-official recipes for bleach to water ratio, but they all boil down to– mix in bleach very thoroughly, adding more slowly until you can just barely smell it in the water.  (this is for already potable water, follow the recipe and rules for treating suspected bad or dirty water).

Doing this, and keeping the container sealed and stored well, I had no problem with 7 years of storage.  The water was clear, and only a bit ‘flat’.   To fix that you can aerate by pouring from container to container a couple of times, or I just pour it through a Brita filter pitcher.   It’s easier to use and chill that way anyway.

I use the same method for all the water I store.  Scrupulously clean bottle/jug/container/tank,  already chlorinated tap water, add plain bleach until you can smell it even after thorough mixing, seal well and protect from air, light, and heat.

Worst case, I might have to use the Sawyer filter on the stored water, or some other treatment option, or just use the contaminated water for flushing and washing while  using the uncontaminated OTHER containers for drinking.    That is one advantage of multiple smaller jugs, if one is contaminated the others are usually still fine.   That’s one reason why I prefer smaller containers to one big tank.   That and mobility issues.  A 55 gallon drum weighs a lot, ~450  pounds.  You aren’t putting a 55 gallon drum in the back of your BOV.


Water is your first need, and you should have plenty on hand.   I think a minimum of 2 gallons per person, per day, half that for pets, is a good number for planning purposes.   More is better.   Plus you need the means to treat the water to make it safe to drink.  Hiking filters are good, if they have small enough pores, and the chemical means should be on your shelf too-iodine tablets for your personal cup of water, gallons of bleach for bulk treatment.

 


 

More on water storage and redundancy later, for now, keep stacking.

 

nick

 

 

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

78 thoughts on “Sat. Feb. 20, 2021 – 02202021 – another funny number on a not so funny day”


  1. The Texas Public Utility Commission issued an order saying that no customer should be subject to a power outage of more than 12 hours long.

    Will they order the wind to blow and the tide to not come in?

    Centerpoint said that they were unable to do rolling blackouts at the height of the shortage without turning off power to critical infrastructure. So, who wins? Homeowners or hospitals? Whataburger or water pumps?

    JFC, what a bunch of maroons.

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  2. Report: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Pushing ‘Anti-Racist’ Initiative in Math

    “curriculum states that asking students to show their work and find the right answer is an inherently racist practice”

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2021/02/report-bill-and-melinda-gates-foundation-pushing-anti-racist-initiative-in-math/

    what total b.s.

    Recalls that state legislator more than 100 years ago that tried to pass a law making pi equal to 3.

    Add in COVID distance learning disaster and: WELCOME TO THE DUMBEST GENERATION OF KIDS IN 100 YEARS. THE ZOOMER DUMBSHIT ERA.

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  3. The Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letter is suspiciously tardy.

    I wonder if The Gecko is concerned that Oncor may get some fingers pointing in their direction in Texas in the next few weeks.

  4. A statement from plugsy:

    President Joe Biden released a statement Friday urging Congress to “swiftly pass” the Equality Act, a bill that would eliminate the legal recognition of male and female sex, cater to gender ideology, and designate protection for the unborn as “pregnancy” discrimination.

    I wonder how the Olympics will turn out when half the women’s teams/athletes are really men?

    Game over man, game over!

    LET THE HEELING AND GENDER SWAPPING BEGIN!

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  5. President Joe Biden released a statement Friday urging Congress to “swiftly pass” the Equality Act, a bill that would eliminate the legal recognition of male and female sex, cater to gender ideology, and designate protection for the unborn as “pregnancy” discrimination.

    The only bills Congress can get through right now are spending plans. Even that will get tougher ~ September-October when 2022 starts.


  6. Add in COVID distance learning disaster and: WELCOME TO THE DUMBEST GENERATION OF KIDS IN 100 YEARS. THE ZOOMER DUMBSHIT ERA.

    Yes but they will be completely educated in critical race theory.

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  7. ” THE DUMBEST GENERATION OF KIDS ”

    –possibly the least educated to state standards, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Whether they are dumb or not depends on other things than the school district.

    Mine are a bit more skeptical of global warming (the re-branding as climate change isn’t really sticking) when they are out of school for a week due to record cold.

    n

  8. Over at Ace of Spades:
    Round And Round The ONT Goes. Where It Stops, Nobody Knows

    I’d recommend savoring the entire thread, but the video on a full-auto crossbow is awesome.

    And tragically, lake levels continue to rise from the volume of guns lost in tragic boating accidents.

    Have a great Saturday.

    [ADDED: Thinking about all those older 12-18V heavy duty driver drills that can be bought for a song. Wonder how long they’d hold up being driven by a bit of overvoltage from a Dewalt Flexvolt 20/60v 6Ah battery pack?]

  9. “Wonder how long they’d hold up being driven by a bit of overvoltage from a Dewalt Flexvolt 20”

    –I have the adapters and use the 20v with my 18v tools all the time. They work great. With the 4Ahr and 5Ahr batteries I can finally use the power hogs, like the right angle grinder, or the jig saw. There is a chinese adapter that will provide a 12v barrel jack on amazon. I have one, but didn’t try it yet.

    The dewalt adapter says there are tools it won’t work with, but I haven’t had any issues. For my birthday the kids got me 2 more 5Ahr batteries.

    I believe there is a similar converter for the Milwaukee tools too.

    If you already have a good set of 18v dewalt tools, the converter and 20v Lion batteries are a no brainer.

    n

  10. Currently 0 with a high of 10 F today. A lot colder than forecast.
    I need to refill the water barrel for the rabbits automatic watering system and I need to stuff more straw in each cage. Plus check the pipes at the new place. I’ve got the thermostat set at 62 f at the new home but wasn’t expecting temps at 0. Pipes shouldn’t freeze but…

  11. It was 48F when I woke up, and it’s now 63F in the sun.

    Texas continues to experience water outages as some residents have used rain, swimming pools, and melted snow for water just to flush toilets

    –I see that quote in a photo caption and think , “Yeah? So what? ” but apparently that is the depths of depravity and deprivation.

    FFS. Some days I’m like Calvin…. https://www.pinterest.de/pin/414964553140677240/

    n

  12. Why don’t you feel bad about yourself? (via althouse.com.blogspot.com)

    “I ask that Smith College stop reducing my personhood to a racial category. Stop telling me what I must think and feel about myself,” she said. “Stop presuming to know who I am or what my culture is based upon my skin color. Stop asking me to project stereotypes and assumptions onto others based on their skin color.”
    Now today, she is resigning from the college.

    In doing that — and in speaking out — she is turning down a settlement that would have given her a much easier way out. We need more people like her.

    https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/whistleblower-at-smith-college-resigns


  13. Centerpoint said that they were unable to do rolling blackouts at the height of the shortage without turning off power to critical infrastructure. So, who wins? Homeowners or hospitals? Whataburger or water pumps?

    My house is about a block away from a fire station. Our San Antonio neighborhood is from about 1978, and I suspect that the nearest power substation is about that old, so CPS Energy probably doesn’t have the ability to shut down our residential neighborhood without killing power to the fire station as well. That’s the best explanation I can come up with for why we didn’t lose power.

    I suspect that CPS would have no qualms about shutting down power to a restaurant or residential area, but would attempt to avoid shutting down a hospital or fire station. So one of the best things you can do to avoid losing power would be to buy a house within a block of one of those.

  14. ” one of the best things you can do to avoid losing power would be to buy a house within a block of one of those. ”

    –hospitals are better, but yes, this has been a consideration for some, and was more important when whole house generators were less common.

    Master’s class exercise, ride a bike around your neighborhood and map your local power grid. You’re looking for the big disconnects, knife switches in the lines at the top of the pole. At ground level there is a lever, usually padlocked, that let’s them rotate a connecting rod, and move the disconnects. While you’re at it, look for poles with a whole bunch of cr@p at the top, particularly directional antennas. Those are monitoring and control points. See who else is on your segment.

    One thing I didn’t hear anything about during this outage was sewage lift stations. The neighborhoods north of us are all on lift stations to get them up to our level, where “it’s all downhill from here….” to the treatment plant.

    n

    added– edits to the text

  15. @Nick – looking at power poles in your residential neighborhood is hard to do if you have underground utilities.

    But I suppose there is an overhead ‘feed’ into the underground part of your neighborhood power that might be ‘switchable’. Perhaps underground neighborhoods are more easily ‘switched off’.

  16. Costco run today to pick up some bulk items, carrots, pistachios, pecans, cucumbers, water. Got 48 bottles of carbonated flavored water. I like the stuff. Would never use to flush as I have 25K gallons of water in the pool if needed.

    Based on some other information I also picked up two small UPS units for $45.00 each. My computer, modem and router are currently on a UPS and have been for quite some time. Based on comments here it dawned on me that my cable goes through a powered amplifier. That cable supports TV, internet and phone. If I lose power I will lose the phone. Probably not a big deal as I have cell phone, but losing internet may be an issue. So I put one UPS on the shelf close to the cable amplifier and plugged in the power adapter for the amplifier into the UPS. Based on current draw the UPS should be able hold the power for at least an hour.

    I took the second UPS and installed it where the WiFi router is located by the TV. I have three routers in the house, ASUS AIMesh, which works really well. The primary router is on the computer UPS, the second router near my wife’s computer which also has a UPS, the third router by the TV in the living room is now on a UPS along with the TV and other items involved with the system.

    However, power in this area has proven to be very reliable. Generally outages are less than two hours and that is rare. Longest was 8 hours when a tornado destroyed some big poles with capacitors and transformers mounted between the poles. I just don’t want the short glitches to affect stuff.

    And speaking of AIMesh. Really nice system. More impressed now than when I first installed. I, in my limited opinion, highly recommend the devices. However, it is necessary to update the firmware to the latest version to get AIMesh out of the box. Only the newest routers have the AIMesh firmware installed at the factory. Good idea to update anyway as ASUS updates firmware frequently to fix issues and vulnerabilities.

  17. –I see that quote in a photo caption and think , “Yeah? So what? ” but apparently that is the depths of depravity and deprivation.

    Swimming pool water used to flush a toilet? And …

  18. Based on some other information I also picked up two small UPS units for $45.00 each. My computer, modem and router are currently on a UPS and have been for quite some time. Based on comments here it dawned on me that my cable goes through a powered amplifier. That cable supports TV, internet and phone. If I lose power I will lose the phone

    The cable company doesn’t provide some kind of battery backup for the phone line and any necessary support hardware such as the amplifier?

  19. Centerpoint said that they were unable to do rolling blackouts at the height of the shortage without turning off power to critical infrastructure.

    Master’s class exercise, ride a bike around your neighborhood and map your local power grid.

    Speaking of infrastructure, a couple of field guides to what you might see on that bike ride around the neighborhood:

    https://www.amazon.com/Infrastructure-Industrial-Landscape-Revised-Updated/dp/0393349837/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=0393349837&qid=1613846313&s=books&sr=1-1&tag=ttgnet-20

    and

    https://www.amazon.com/99-Invisible-City-Hidden-Everyday/dp/0358126606/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=0358126606&qid=1613846892&s=books&sr=1-2&tag=ttgnet-20


  20. The cable company doesn’t provide some kind of battery backup for the phone line and any necessary support hardware such as the amplifier?

    Nope. I own my modem so it is my problem. Even Xfinity supplied modems do not have batteries. Amplifiers generally do not have batteries. Xfinity supplied the modem at no cost.

    First guy installed the modem and it worked without issues. I had a signal problem some time later so another tech showed up. He rearranged the connections and said the original installation was incorrect. Everything worked and he left.

    Several months later I was having issues again. Another tech showed up and replaced the drop to the house. He also rearranged the connections on the amplifier saying it was installed incorrectly. He also found out that the 1 amp power supply was too small and should have never been installed. He replaced that with a 2 amp power supply. That was more than 5 years ago and I have not had a problem since.

    If needed I could move the cable for the modem to the incoming cable line and bypass the amplifier entirely. I would have no TV and without power that is not an issue. I would have internet and phone. But I suspect the UPS would start running down if using the computer. So I would restrict usage to the laptop and the iPads.

  21. ” one of the best things you can do to avoid losing power would be to buy a house within a block of one of those. ”

    –hospitals are better, but yes, this has been a consideration for some, and was more important when whole house generators were less common.

    Mormon church. We have a big one around the corner. In theory, they should have generators, but I imagine there would be political h*ll to pay if that place lost power for more than a few hours.

    Real estate surrounding the church is where every hipster in Austin wants to live once the kids come along.

    BTW, you are going to hear horror stories with regard to last week out of the big hospital chain in Austin. We have one near the house, but long before the deep freeze, I was under strict orders from my wife not to take her or the kids to one of their facilities.

  22. I don’t believe it is common for an LDS Church to have generators on-site. I have never seen one with a generator (in WA/UT/CA). I have experienced a power outage during a Sunday meeting in a LDS church.

    Even the ‘stake centers’ (stake = a bunch of wards/parish, usually the stake building is a bit larger and also used for ward meetings) don’t have generators.

    I suspect that LDS temples have their own generators.

    And don’t know why an LDS church building would be on a ‘no-outage’ list. They are only used for Sunday meetings, and some weeknights. (Although weeknight meetings are less common ‘AC’ – After Covid – than ‘BC’ – Before Covid.)

  23. Sunny and 55ºF by the San Antonio International Airport. Still have power, water, and ‘net. Most/all the snow should be melted where I live by the end of the weekend.

    It was nice standing in the Sun out front. Then I realized I’ll be wearing a face diaper the rest of my life. I wonder if any *Karens* were giving people shit standing in line for water and food.

  24. Worst case, I might have to use the Sawyer filter on the stored water, or some other treatment option, or just use the contaminated water for flushing and washing while using the uncontaminated OTHER containers for drinking. That is one advantage of multiple smaller jugs, if one is contaminated the others are usually still fine. That’s one reason why I prefer smaller containers to one big tank. That and mobility issues. A 55 gallon drum weighs a lot, ~450 pounds. You aren’t putting a 55 gallon drum in the back of your BOV.

    My 82 year old father was carrying 5 gallon buckets of water inside from the pool to flush the toilets for 4 days. I suspect that he only had 3 gallons in them though.

    I am lazy so I don’t keep any big bottles of water. I just keep 32 cases of bottled water in two rows of my garage racks so that we do anything that is needed: drink, cook, brush teeth, wash face, wash dishes, flush toilets, etc.

    BTW, I have two of these tough racks back to back in the garage for my water, tp, paper, etc.
    https://www.samsclub.com/p/members-mark-4-shelf-industrial-storage-rack/prod22160218?xid=plp_product_29

    BTW, we only used 10 cases of our bottled water. I still have 25 cases of bottled water, had some in the house too.

    And my daughter thanked me and gave me a hug for having stocked up supplies for us.

  25. Longish prep report. Not as cold as Texas, etc. here in Salem, OR, but the power was out from 2am last Saturday until 4pm Thursday due to an ice storm/frozen rain with many trees and limbs down and lines down/transformers blown, there are still 50-60,000 in the area without power now (Saturday). A big shout out to Robert and Nick in particular for all of the prep reminders over the years here that helped get us through reasonably well. Heat was a real problem for us without a generator (wife has put that on the list to get when they are available again) as her allergies, etc. preclude any sort of fueled heater or use of the fireplace we do have. Inside temp gradually went down to 50 degrees which got old but survivable, nothing like many of you folks have had. I did our cooking outside with the Colman 2-burner dual-fuel stove – we used about 1/2 gal of fuel over the 5+ days cooking breakfast and dinner for the two of us and the 80 something lady next door, plus boiling 3 quarts of water twice a day to fill the insulated mugs with tea. The gas hot water heater did work but a number of neighbors have electric heaters and did without. The chest freezer which is solid full did okay, I happened to check it the day before the outage and it was at 0 degrees on the top layer, over the 5 days it went up to 20 degrees, we never opened it and there was no loss; it is back down to 4 degrees on top this morning. The regrigerator did pretty well, not getting over 45 degrees (cold house benefit), very minimal loss – the freezer section warmed of course, we cooked out of that section for meals as stuff thawed and made mixed berry preserves out of the thawed fruit. Tossed a half gallon of milk and three yogurt cups. We had lots of AA and AAA batteries for the FLASHLIGHTS, etc. but have used the wife’s boom boxes plugged in for so long I had to look up the battery sizes (C and D), we had just enough to fill them once. She got nervous so we went to the battery store and got more, and of course 5 minutes after we got home is when the power came back on. A plus was the 3 in 1 portable power pack I had in the car, it took care of charging the Kindles and phones just fine – it had been about two months since topping the charge. Water, no problem for us this time. We keep about 90 gallons in one gallon ice tea bottles, rinsed with a bleach solution and filled with filtered water. Wife uses them mostly for tea and such and we rotate through them in about 6 months, stored on shelves in our insulted shed where a majority of our home-canned goods, potatoes, onions, and garlic are kept.

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  26. The Texas Public Utility Commission issued an order saying that no customer should be subject to a power outage of more than 12 hours long.

    Will they order the wind to blow and the tide to not come in?

    Centerpoint said that they were unable to do rolling blackouts at the height of the shortage without turning off power to critical infrastructure. So, who wins? Homeowners or hospitals? Whataburger or water pumps?

    Nobody wins. We all got screwed. Just about everybody I know has at least one broken pipe. I’ve got four in my office complex.

    BTW, anybody with critical infrastructure should have a generator: fire stations, hospitals, etc. So, we probably need to go ahead and blackout everyone except the 50,000 hp natural gas compressor electric motors.

    Although, the fire station in my parent’s town has a brand new 50 ? 100 ? 200 ? kw generator. On the first day, it blew the control circuit and one of the firemen or EMS guys had to sit there and modulate the throttle by hand the entire time. My parents neighbor is the head of EMS and even he babysat the generator for two hours. I’ll bet the frequency was running 30 hz to 100 hz.

  27. Animal chores done. Thermals, jeans, turtleneck, wool socks, heavy insulated boots, heavy down coat, politically incorrect fur hat, waterproof heavily insulated mittens and a scarf. I was outside for about 45 minutes. Rabbit shelter was 10 f, chicken coop 25 f, outdoor temp 0 f.

    Everything takes much longer at these temps. Straw and pellets to the rabbits, refilled chicken pellets. Scattered corn. Collected eggs. Put broody hen out alone so she could have her fill of corn, water, and pellets without competition. I’d brought the hose in yesterday to thaw it for refilling the barrel. Removed styrofoam hose bib cover, connected hose, creaked the hose over the snow some 30’ and refilled the barrel. Refilled heated chicken waterer. Disconnected and drained hose looping it back onto the holder and connecting the ends together. Even in that three or four minutes the hose was stiff and unwieldy to rewind. Replaced styrofoam hose bib cover carefully so I wouldn’t snap the rubber loop that holds it to the bib. Let the chickens out. Starting to get cold so took a shortcut on the manure chores.

    Mittens keep your hands much warmer but come with a loss of dexterity. Nothing beats fur for warmth – had to remove my hat for a few minutes as I was on the verge of working up a sweat and that’s a very bad thing. The snow was creaking beneath my feet, and my nostril hairs froze. That’s cold. The rabbits liked their straw and were throwing it around their cages, scratching and rearranging it to suit themselves. I threw a handful in for the chickens entertainment. Bored chickens peck each other and that reduces egg production. With all the snow and cold not much to scratch in.

    Glad for steady heat and running water. Pondering doing these tasks with 1800’s technology? Oi.

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  28. “Is The Temporary Collapse Of Texas Foreshadowing The Total Collapse Of The US?”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/temporary-collapse-texas-foreshadowing-total-collapse-us

    The lesson is that all renewables must have a 1 MW for 1 MW gas turbine backup with at least one week’s onsite storage of fuel at full load. Anything less than that is unacceptable.

    But his other concern is very true:

    “Remember, this is just a temporary crisis in Texas that is only going to last for a few days.”

    “So what would happen if a severe long-term national emergency disrupted food, water and power systems for months on end?”

    “All it took to cause a short-term “collapse scenario” in the state of Texas was some cold weather.”

    “Eventually, much worse things will happen to our nation, and it has become clear that we are not ready.”

    “So get prepared while you still can, because time is running out.”


  29. Just about everybody I know has at least one broken pipe

    Niece-in-law located in Pearland TX has a broken pipe in the kitchen. Cannot find a plumber. I am guessing the pipe is in an exterior wall, behind cabinets, based on what I know of their house. Getting to the pipe will be major work. Other nephews, one in Orange TX, another in Austin, other in Conroe had no issues with busted pipes. Power outages like everyone else but survived. Nephew in Orange works for the Texas Highway Patrol so he was out in the cold working accidents.

  30. Glad for steady heat and running water. Pondering doing these tasks with 1800’s technology? Oi.

    Me too, me too. A automatically filling flush toilet is an awesome thing.

    As my wife said earlier this week, she does not want to live in The Little House on the Prairie. She only wants to read about it.

  31. Exploratory trip out today to see what was available. We needed soda and milk.

    Sam’s Club – line the length of the building to get in the door. Didn’t even try.

    Target – grocery area completely picked clean except for straggler items no one wanted.

    HEB – Almost like Target, but prepacked deli meats were *really* cleaned out. They did have soda, however, so I’m productive for another week.

    No milk. Anywhere.

  32. Sunny and 46f here today, thirty degrees warmer than yesterday. All roads are clear except the little used neighborhood streets. All will be forgotten by tomorrow, except for those who have water filling their homes.

    Humans have short memories. This will all be forgotten in 6 – 8 months and maybe remembered fondly next winter. Smart folks, hopefully the majority of this audience, will look for lessons to be learned and changes to be made. I know I have a list.

  33. The lesson is that all renewables must have a 1 MW for 1 MW gas turbine backup with at least one week’s onsite storage of fuel at full load. Anything less than that is unacceptable.

    That won’t happen. No one wants to pay for it.

    The big downside of a “tech” economy is the skimping on essential services.

  34. More fatalities from cooler climates than warmer ones and it looks like we are moving into a cooling phase.
    “UAH reports a continuing cooling in the global lower troposphere.”

    Fact checks of common lies …
    https://alarmistclaimresearch.wordpress.com/

    BUT … But … but … using CLIMATE as a scare tactic was effective in the past but continually saying IF WE DON’T DO SOMETHING NOW MIAMI WILL BE UNDERWATER – even the most thick headed will begin to notice that Miami stubbornly stays above sea level and begin to wonder what other lies they are being fed.

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  35. Still sitting at my computer surfing. And commenting elsewhere.

    One idea is starting to form in the back corners of my brain… and I’m not sure where it will lead.

    Some observations–

    –the same people who don’t believe the media about anything political or medical will quote it like received truth about this disaster. The media is HEAVILY involved in this. A dozen states were involved but all we keep hearing about was TX. Ponder that. And quit filling you head with media spin.

    –I get lots of contest entries and newsletters from gun and ammo companies and they all have social media links. Most will get you extra entries for USING the social media links. FFS people, WHY are any gun companies still on FB or Twitter? STOP FEEDING THE BEAST. NO ONE cares how many ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ you have. You are kneeling to the slave master.

    –the world is not safe. Murphy’s Law exists. PLAN for those two things to bite you at the same time.

    n

  36. @rickh, you are looking for the entry point where the overhead turns to underground. There will be big metal boxes and a fenced enclosure.

    Clusters of homes are usually served by one transformer, a 2 or 3 foot green cube behind the homes.

    Those transformers are fed from elsewhere. It’s the ‘elsewhere’ that controls what segment you are on.

    n

  37. @Greg
    Alaska’s supply line is fragile. We have a single dairy servicing my area, all other milk is from outside. Bizarrely the local dairy doesn’t have enough milk produced locally to fill their demand so they somehow ship milk in from outside Alaska to supplement local milk. I don’t get how that works. We pay $6-$8/gallon depending on brand / organic.

    We keep cases of Hershey’s shelf stable milk (quart boxes) from Costco handy. In addition to powdered milk and cases of evaporated milk. We don’t drink milk much but I like it in coffee and on cereal and for cooking.

    The Hersheys is acceptable. Take the expiration date seriously.

  38. @Greg
    Alaska’s supply line is fragile. We have a single dairy servicing my area, all other milk is from outside. Bizarrely the local dairy doesn’t have enough milk produced locally to fill their demand so they somehow ship milk in from outside Alaska to supplement local milk. I don’t get how that works. We pay $6-$8/gallon depending on brand / organic.

    OR/WA have a lot of dairies west of the Cascades. The big attraction on the Oregon Coast in summer is the Tilamook plant. Putting milk on a boat is probably cheaper than trucking it east.

    Neither item we went looking for today were absolute needs.

  39. –I get lots of contest entries and newsletters from gun and ammo companies and they all have social media links. Most will get you extra entries for USING the social media links. FFS people, WHY are any gun companies still on FB or Twitter? STOP FEEDING THE BEAST. NO ONE cares how many ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ you have. You are kneeling to the slave master.

    Facebook et. al. ate the advertising industry. Or, at least, they pulled off the illusion that there really isn’t any other media than online.

    Cracks are starting to form in the facade, but it will probably be too late for a lot of traditional media outlets. Another rebuilding area for when the Brown Truck Mall and Foodcourt are no longer sustainable.

  40. @Nick
    “The dewalt adapter says there are tools it won’t work with, but I haven’t had any issues. For my birthday the kids got me 2 more 5Ahr batteries. “

    Good kids!

    A couple of years ago Dewalt had an issue with the adapters that caused the batteries to drain if you left them connected to the adapter. They have a detection circuit that shuts off if they are connected to a nicad charger which is unsafe for li-ion. Have they fixed that “feature”?

  41. –the same people who don’t believe the media about anything political or medical will quote it like received truth about this disaster. The media is HEAVILY involved in this. A dozen states were involved but all we keep hearing about was TX. Ponder that. And quit filling you head with media spin.

    The “food shortages” over most of the last year have been media driven.

    The HEB deli meats section was picked so clean today that either all of the products spoiled in a power outage or panic buying had people purchasing things they’ll never eat.

    IHeartRadio will try a gas shortage next week.

  42. Breaking…

    United Airlines Boeing 777 operating as flight 328 flying from Denver – Honolulu suffered a serious engine failure on takeoff.

    It made an emergency landing and everyone is ok.

    Some pics here:
    https://twitter.com/MikeSington/status/1363265425077792768?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

    And some video here:
    https://twitter.com/RexChapman/status/1363249686665187329?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

    (And no one named Cruz on the flight…)


  43. OR/WA have a lot of dairies west of the Cascades. The big attraction on the Oregon Coast in summer is the Tilamook plant. Putting milk on a boat is probably cheaper than trucking it east.

    Milk does not go East from the coast. There are far more dairies in OR and WA, East of the Cascade Mountains and West of the Blue Mountains. We produce more milk in the Columbia Basin than is needed, so some is exported to the “West Coast”. The dirty little secret is that Tillamook uses some Columbia Basin milk in their products. Some of our dairies are part of the Tillamook Co-Op. Plus, the quality of our milk meets the Japanese’s stringent requirements, so they import as much as they can. That also goes for the purity and quality of our Alfalfa which Japan cannot get enough of.

  44. “the batteries to drain if you left them connected to the adapter. They have a detection circuit that shuts off if they are connected to a nicad charger”

    –you need to remove the lion battery from the adapter or it will drain.

    –I put all my nimh chargers in storage (a cardboard box in the attic) so I wouldn’t know, but it’s a chore to dismount the adapter from some of the tools and very easy to take out the lion battery. Only someone very determined to be a fool would put the adapter in a charger with the lion battery attached.

    FAR easier to buy at least a couple of the adapters and leave them on the tool, which is what I do with my circular saw, and impact driver.

    n

  45. United Airlines Boeing 777 operating as flight 328 flying from Denver – Honolulu suffered a serious engine failure on takeoff.

    Sorta makes ya nostalgic for the days when airliners had four engines, don’t it?

  46. That also goes for the purity and quality of our Alfalfa which Japan cannot get enough of.

    Especially the stuff from the Klamath valley. Lots of trucks leaving that area stacked high with tightly baled Alfalfa hay.

    We had several fields on the farm with Alfalfa. The stuff is nasty to manually handle the bales. The stems are quite stiff. The bales must be handled using high quality and strong leather chaps. Alfalfa is best if it is baled with as much of the leaves as possible. Many a time we would wait until 11:00 PM or midnight for the dew to arrive to start baling so that as many leaves as possible would stay on the stalks. Timing is everything.

    Cows loved it. After clearing a field we would let the cows in the field to finish clearing the debris. The cows would run around plucking stuff from the ground while making funny noises, a noise of pure joy. But be very careful feeding fresh Alfalfa to a cow. Bloating is very serious, and sometimes deadly problem. Dried and baled is not so bad but quantities fed must be limited.

    We would typically get three cuttings a year from a field that was irrigated. A hundred bales an acre was not uncommon. Of course these were the smaller bales that could handled by humans, about 60 pounds each.

  47. Milk does not go East from the coast. There are far more dairies in OR and WA, East of the Cascade Mountains and West of the Blue Mountains. We produce more milk in the Columbia Basin than is needed, so some is exported to the “West Coast”. The dirty little secret is that Tillamook uses some Columbia Basin milk in their products. Some of our dairies are part of the Tillamook Co-Op. Plus, the quality of our milk meets the Japanese’s stringent requirements, so they import as much as they can. That also goes for the purity and quality of our Alfalfa which Japan cannot get enough of.

    I saw a huge Tillamook plant somewhere on the drive from Boise to Portland, out near Pendleton.

  48. We ventured out again this evening to get the kids out of the house and feed them.

    Round Rock is looking fairly normal. The bingo hall and adjoining pizza restaurant were packed.

  49. We ventured out again this evening to get the kids out of the house and feed them.

    Round Rock is looking fairly normal. The bingo hall and adjoining pizza restaurant were packed.

    We ate at Cracker Barrel. Typical Saturday night there.

    Austin may or may not be a mess, but the suburbs are in recovery.

  50. I just got this email from Generator Supercenter:

    “TEXAS NOTICE:
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE.

    Due to high demand, we are experiencing longer than normal wait times. Please note that phone lines across all Texas locations are at capacity.

    This unprecedented demand has resulted in an increased volume of customers looking for immediate installation, as well as home owners looking to get general information on costs and the process. At this time, we encourage anyone interested in general information to visit one of our showrooms and take advantage of our daily Live Demonstrations.

    To help expedite the installation for home owners looking for install as soon as possible please be aware of the following:

    Turnkey Pricing is starting at 10-15K

    Times frames are currently 20-28 weeks for install

    A $500 deposit for appointments is required to get you on schedule to get you in line for install. This deposit will be applied to the final cost

    Deposit is to get on the schedule and start the process, 100% refundable

    We will need a name, number, email, address, and how you heard about us

    Need property survey and electric bill

    We will contact you to pick a date for the site inspection

    For customers looking for general information on generators, or are looking to get a quote for installation beyond 28 weeks, we ask that you let the coordination team know, and we’ll follow up at that time.

    We truly appreciate your patience as we work diligently on getting back to everyone as quickly as possible.”

    I suspect every one in Texas got the message, you are on your own during extreme weather events and doing something about it.

    I am glad that I got my order in before the snowpocalypse.

  51. Advice wanted:

    Today I came across a spindle of DVDs I’d used as data backups from five to twelve years ago. (At the start of that, terabyte hard drives were a couple thousand dollars, IIRC, hence DVDs for backup. About six years ago I started using an external 2TB drive for backups but kept making DVDs as backup to the backup. Wisely, it turns out, as the oldest drive failed suddenly, with no warning.) Most were ok but some of the older disks were cloudy and either couldn’t be mounted at all or gave read errors when reading files. I tried on several DVD drives, including one which generally is able to read damaged or old disks.

    Does anyone have suggestions for reading these old disks? High power or high quality DVD readers? I don’t mind if the reader’s laser damages the disk so long as it can pull the data off in the process.

    None of the disks is of life-or-death importance. It’s anything from baby pictures to snapshots of the Subversion repository for my coding projects to the raw and processed photos that were used in a couple of my books to various PDFs and videos I downloaded (and which I couldn’t re-find with a couple minutes’ searching). I’d like to recover the data and am willing to pay for a good reader but it’s not the end of the world if I need to give up and toss the disks.

    ADDED: The clouded disks occurred in clusters. I suspect that they came from the same spindle (of 50, usually) and maybe there were quality control issues. Most of the writable DVDs I bought were used for copying movie disks* and I didn’t put dates on the movie copies so I can’t try to time-match any cloudy movie disks to cloudy data disks.

    * After the kids (or my wife) oopsed and scratched or broke about the fifth movie disk, I started copying anything we got, storing the originals in binders, and letting them watch the copies whenever they wanted to. Replacing damaged disks wasn’t a budget buster, exactly, but it was a biiiig nuisance.

  52. Try cleaning them, or using one of the Skip Dr polishers? It might help with the cloudiness.

    n

  53. I tried cleaning one of the disks. No luck. Maybe the surface plastic layer itself is clouded and could be (carefully!) polished off, but if I understand the issue, the clouding is usually at the inside surface of the outer plastic layer. Thanks, though.

    EDIT: Reading up on the disk polishers reinforces what I thought I knew: scratches can be buffed out. Clouding is a different issue, and none of the polishers I looked at mention it.

  54. I have been using an industrial lens (safety glasses) cleaning solution on my disks as I’ve been ripping them. They GLEAM afterward…

    But if the cloudy is inside, I don’t know what would work. bake one for a bit and see if the bonding agent clears?

    n

  55. @SteveF
    The cloudiness is likely related to adhesive migration within the disk.

    It is reported that a warm water bath followed by gentle hand drying and air drying has been successful in restoring playability in some cases. I’m not a fan of using universal solvent when I don’t need to.

    I’d be more inclined to pick a disc and give it a good inspection under 10-20x magnification then give it an hour in a low-temp curing oven at 100F, inspect, then increase the temp by 5F for another hour, and repeat until I cooked the disc.

    Most people don’t have a curing oven lying around. Or sou vide. But you could try sealing it in an oven bag (less chance of plasticizer migration) and putting it in a hot water bath, increasing the temp as above.

    Good luck.

  56. They’re trying to close off one of Trump’s options

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9280879/UN-report-finds-Trump-ally-violated-Libya-arms-embargo-US-media.html

    Trump ally and Blackwater founder Erik Prince violated arms embargo on Libya by sending $80million in weapons and mercenaries to strongman attempting to overthrow the government, UN report says

    Confidential report to UN Security Council said Prince violated arms embargo
    Accuses him of equipping strongman Khalifa Haftar against Libya’s government
    Plans included hit squad to track and kill Libyan commanders opposed to Haftar
    Prince is a former Navy SEAL and brother of Trump’s education secretary
    He gained infamy as the founder of private security contractor Blackwater

    n

  57. More to this story than we know yet…

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9282311/Cops-respond-shooting-multiple-deaths-n-Louisiana.html

    Three people are killed and two injured after shooter opened fire at Louisiana gun shop before being shot dead by bystanders

    A gunman walked into Jefferson Gun Outlet in Metairie before 3pm and opened fire on two people inside
    Customers inside the gun shop engaged the suspect in gunfire, who was killed at the scene, cops said
    Suspect entered the gun store with a loaded, unholstered gun before an argument started, sources said

  58. I have been told that Michael Z. Williamson, author of Freehold and other great books published by Amazon, has done a little digging and found:

    1) Jason Sanford, author of the aforementioned hitpiece on Baen, did himself submit a book to Baen, which was rejected.

    2) Sanford appears to be socially connected to some of the people he quotes.

  59. LOVED “The Last Centurion” and most of Ringo’s work.
    I am now listening to Eric Flint’s “The Alexander Inheritance” from Audible.
    I met Flint at a Convention in Memphis a decade ago. He gave an excellent talk on his history as a machinist and his design for his Ring of Fire books. Never knew he was a socialist. Never mattered.

  60. Cops here are working street racing again. Many agencies, and air support.

    n

    added- one of their undercovers just got ‘made’. The racers shot video of him and pix for later. They use counter surveillance techniques, but don’t monitor the radio. Strange.

    n

  61. Wife and kids are watching The Fellowship of the Ring in the other room. LOTS of bass, lots of ‘fingers on chalkboard’ screeches, very little dialog. Funny how the sound track seems so different from watching the movie.

    n

  62. “Island in the Sea of Time” by S. M. Stirling
    https://www.amazon.com/Island-Sea-Time-S-Stirling/dp/0451456750/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number one in a three book apocalyptic alternate history time travel series. This trilogy is the prequel to the fifteen book Emberverse (“Dies The Fire”) series. I read the well printed and well bound MMPB published by ROC (Penguin) in 1998 that I bought in 2010. I have ordered the second book in the series from Big River.

    In the sudden blink of an eye, the island of Nantucket and its 6,000+ inhabitants plus a Coast Guard training sailing ship with a crew of 300 are transported back to 1,250 BC. Over 3,000 years in the past in the same place. But every one outside of Nantucket is still the same in the past.

    So almost 7,000 people from 3,000 years in the future are now living in the distant past. They no longer have the 7+ billion person support system known as planet Earth. But, they have significant technology in the form of ships, energy, improved metals (iron instead of bronze), and of course, weapons. But, what they do not have are significant food and fuel reserves.

    My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (363 reviews)

    2
    1
  63. Here’s another thought, we’re in the opening chapters of Ringo’s Last Centurion novella.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00APA1HKC/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1&tag=ttgnet-20

    and the global cooling is finally here and going to get worse….

    n

    Yep, and we’re primed to follow the plot line of The Last Centurion up to and including the first female PoC Prog POTUS. (Keep in mind that “PoC” has at least two interpretations.)

  64. Does anyone have suggestions for reading these old disks? High power or high quality DVD readers? I don’t mind if the reader’s laser damages the disk so long as it can pull the data off in the process.

    K3b under Linux has the capability to image a disc while ignoring errors. The program probably calls a lower level utility like ddrescue.

    I haven’t played with that feature in a long time. Your mileage may vary.

    I doubt you’ll damage the disc, but the reader might be another story.

  65. @nick

    The Fellowship of the Ring

    In our theater this weekend. Too long, not going.

  66. Been AFK for a while, just busy with other things.

    I want to again say sympathies to all who are suffering unusual weather, especially cold. As someone said, it will be over soon… When I lived in the Midwest, we used to say the weather usually got nice by July.

    When we designed our house in the mid 1970s, some homes had plumbing in the attic. There was a cold spell that cured that idea, and we learned from it. Our temperatures usually get to the mid 20s overnight, and warm to the 50s during the day. Our record low is nothing (0F.) When we learned that, we did sensible things with our plumbing. It is in the ceiling of our basement, and nothing is on an outside wall or in unheated space. Oh, basement: yup, we have one of those, one of about a dozen in our area. Cheapest space that can be built and operated. We doubled our space for about 10% extra cost. It has one end that is at grade, like Barbara’s home in Sparta, so nothing has to be carted up or down stairs. I really like it. That said, I’m sure there is something that will eventually bite us, but 42 years and counting.

    I see all the battery operated tools, but have yet to get any. I just don’t do anything away from a workbench or shop. I really like air tools because they are compact and cool running. Also, some are pretty cheap, and they are not sensitive to dust and grit. All their cooling air comes from their power source. As for portability, I have seen mobile shops that use 2000+ psi air tanks and two stage regulators. Their owners also have four stage compressors to refill the tanks. They say they are practical. I suppose. Eventually, electric tools will be lighter and more affordable.

    Reminds me, we used to joke about a cordless soldering iron. Well, that was done decades ago. I would like a cordless vacuum cleaner. That might take a while yet. Finally, we also joked about a hoseless garden nozzle. I won’t live to see that.

  67. Loved K3b. Best disc burning utility I have ever used. Slightly strange UI, but very solid burning. Haven’t burned a disc in a long time.

    Steve, good luck. I wish I had a suggestion.

  68. I suspect every one in Texas got the message, you are on your own during extreme weather events and doing something about it.

    Great. I can imagine the future scammer calls already.

  69. “The Fellowship of the Ring”

    In our theater this weekend. Too long, not going.

    20th anniversary? Wow, time flies.

    Last year was the 40th anniversary of ABC airing the Rankin-Bass “Return of the King”. I doubt anyone was planning a celebration of that flick, but it is an interesting collection of talent.

  70. LoTR is a very intense experience for a 9yo, even a precocious one. Possibly ESPECIALLY for a precocious one*. I had to interrupt and inject some calm and humor, and tales about how movie production works to break the intensity. I think my wife it going to regret letting the kids watch it, but they played the LoTR version of Risk for the last two days (my Valentine’s gift to my wife who loves Risk.) Playing that led to wanting to watch the movies.

    n

    *who just told me she used to think the TV was a window and the people on it lived in a secret room behind it.

  71. Nick, that comment about your daughter reminded me. I went by myself to see a first run of Young Frankenstein because my wife doesn’t like Brooks films. The theater was packed, and right behind me was a dad and his young son sitting on his lap. Every so often, the son asked his dad to explain a joke that was intended for adults, and the results were hilarious. I don’t usually like talking in a movie, but that actually added a lot to the fun.


  72. The bingo hall and adjoining pizza restaurant were packed.

    And of course everyone sitting six feet apart 😉

  73. Exercise caution when hiring a plumber to fix broken/split pipes from the recent freezing in Texas. A glut of profitable work needing done and a shortage of people to do it means a lot out-of-state plumbers swarming Texas and a lot of people who weren’t plumbers last month but suddenly are this month. Combine that with people’s impatience to get it all fixed and to get it fixed cheap and it’s a recipe for a LOT of half-assed plumbing. Use who you’ve always used. Ask for credentials (learn what those credentials should look like). Ask for references. See what state their license plate is from. Drive by the local extended stay hotels and see which plumbing companies are camped out there every night. (This crap happens in roofing all the time. They follow the hail storms.)

    Home warranties don’t cover pipes freezing, a lot of people are cash poor, and a lot of people opt for high deductibles on their homeowners insurance to save money. A lot of people are going to be hurting when it comes time to pay to get the plumbing fixed.


  74. LoTR is a very intense experience for a 9yo, even a precocious one. Possibly ESPECIALLY for a precocious one*. I had to interrupt and inject some calm and humor, and tales about how movie production works to break the intensity. I think my wife it going to regret letting the kids watch it, but they played the LoTR version of Risk for the last two days (my Valentine’s gift to my wife who loves Risk.) Playing that led to wanting to watch the movies.

    I’ve done this. A few strategic breaks during particular powerful parts of films that my daughter probably shouldn’t be watching yet, but I crumbled and allowed it. When I glance over and she’s staring at the screen and looks either freaked out or about to cry then it’s time to hit pause and say, “Let’s pop some popcorn.”

  75. There are a lot of half-@ssed repairs being made, hopefully with the full knowledge that they need to be cleaned up and done right later… but, people are people.

    Water on and a bad repair beats no water or a flood any day of the week.

    50F at the moment, up from 48F an hour ago.

    And I’m overdue for bed.

    n

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