Mon. Aug. 30, 2021 – long weekend wore me out.

Hot and humid, but maybe a BIT cooler. Did get some random rain drops yesterday, and some overcast, but mostly it was hot and humid.

The final day of my convention/meeting/swapmeet was a shorter day. The group does a couple of things to keep people there ’til the end. Most conventions or sales have much reduced attendance and fewer sellers on the last day. Our group does a drawing for sellers/exhibitors for $250 cash, but you have to be there and your booth has to be still set up. They follow that with a drawing for attendees for a $250 voucher to spend at a remaining vendor’s booth. There are still a lot of people who bail early, but there are people there until the end and there is excitement and good feelings just before calling it a day. I’ve worked a huge number of meetings/conventions/tradeshows and ours is unique in my experience with this incentive to stay the whole scheduled time.

Today I have to get all the things I put aside over the weekend done, as well as putting my leftovers away, and I have to do this week’s stuff too. I’m going to be extra busy for a while until I catch up. Like I wasn’t busy enough anyway.

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For a blog with a high degree of prepping emphasis, I said very little about the freaking CAT 4 hurricane that hit Louisiana and bordering states yesterday. I put it down to selfishness and inward focus. I will be looking outward for a while at least to cover the aftermath. If you’ve been affected by IDA, please share your experience. What worked, what didn’t, what surprised you. If you want, you can email it to me and I’ll post it whole with any anonymizing requested. Obviously it might be a bit before you’re actually done with IDA. I’ll wait, but please consider commenting or writing something.

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What little news I did see over the weekend wasn’t good. Same stuff and more of it would sum it up. It will get sporty out there, and could be very soon. Don’t wait with your prepping. Get at least some of everything that you want or need. If we have more time, you can add to that. In these times, it won’t do you as much good to have 5 buckets of white flour, but no rice, or 8 rifles and no food. Balance. That is what is needed and you might not have enough time to correct an imbalance in your current purchasing.

That said, anything is better than nothing. Get to stacking.

nick

65 Comments and discussion on "Mon. Aug. 30, 2021 – long weekend wore me out."

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    75F and 91%RH at 6am in Houston.

    Normal morning tired, but sore back and aches. Standing on concrete for three days hurts feet, knees, back, and neck.

    oh well, the pain let’s me know I’m alive.

    n

  2. drwilliams says:

    Pain let’s you know you’re alive right up to the point where it doesn’t

    When I go to large shows I walk into the booth to see if they paid for the extra padding under the carpet.

    In olden days when I did hobby shows, I took my own.

    I use one of the gel chef mats in the kitchen and over the years have bought several for family/friends, and have mats in the workshop at the stations I spend most time standing.

  3. Greg Norton says:

    Don’t park an EV inside any structure. 

    The resource costs of the all EV future mean that most people will be driving something a lot less powerful than a Tonymobile or even a Bolt. The glorified motorized skateboard headed to most garages, with max 30 MPH speed with a 50 mile range, doesn’t need a dangerous battery.

    The masses are still deluded into thinking that everyone will have a Cybertruck or Plaid Tesla with “Ludicrous” speed.

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  4. Nick Flandrey says:

    When I go to large shows I walk into the booth to see if they paid for the extra padding under the carpet.

    -I’ve never understood why an exhibitor wouldn’t add the pad. It makes a huge difference in comfort.

    I do all the normal tricks, try to stay hydrated (failed), change my shoes every day, keep moving, etc. I helped with load in and load out, and carried my own stuff (some of which was heavy.) As I noted on the load out, I shouldn’t need a vocalization when I have to squat or bend down………

    n

  5. Greg Norton says:

    In these times, it won’t do you as much good to have 5 buckets of white flour, but no rice, or 8 rifles and no food.

    My wife’s prepper patient in Florida supposedly had lots of weapons and cash lining the walls of his house. What he couldn’t buy, I believe he figured he would simply take by force.

    As I’ve noted before, his longterm medical care plans probably involved sticking a shiv in me.

    I don’t think he had aspirations towards “warlord” status, but managing a stockpile of food and other supplies wasn’t his style. Ironically, among other things he did as his “day job” was installing surveilance devices inside TVs and other home electronics for various levels of law enforcement in the area, including Federal agencies.

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  6. Nick Flandrey says:

    I believe he figured he would simply take by force.

    There are a lot of half assed preppers/survivalists living with that fantasy. I think they’re so narcissistic that they can’t understand that OTHER PEOPLE can be desperate or ruthless, and lawless too. Psychos never seem to expect to run into other psychos.

    n

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  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    doesn’t need a dangerous battery.

    –that would be INcorrect sir! Lots of hoverboards burning down houses. I’ve linked to Youtuber Louis Rossmann’s ebike burning quite fiercely…

    And there was the dive boat in Cali that probably burned because of li ion batts burning.

    No one sane puts a propane BBQ bottle in the living room, or a bucket of gasoline in the kitchen.

    n

    n

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  8. Greg Norton says:

    Tyler Durden cowardice. Far fetched? I had a preliminary phone discussion about a gig with a place last week that provides systems which need reliable backup communications outside of “The Cloud”, and one of the options provided to customers was Iridium. The hardware and drivers obviously exist for Linux, and iOS is just another flavor of Unix.

    I would think satellite would be more appropriate for a laptop or Mac Mini, however.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/technology/globalstar-jumps-rumors-new-iphones-may-use-satellite-connectivity

    BTW, they reached out to me. If the last job taught me anything, it is to never stop taking calls, especially if I have a gut feeling going in that things will end ugly again.

  9. Chad says:

    TEOTWAWKI (aka “Zombie Apocalypse”) is improbable, but endless fun to discuss hypothetically… 🙂

    Come day 60 or 90 or whenever when people begin dying of starvation do you honestly think a neighbor, who you’ve known for years, wouldn’t shoot you in the face for your last can of beans to keep his kid from starving even if it means yours starves? Spend a moment thinking about what you would do for your kids and then add SEVERE DESPERATION to that scenario. All the preps in the world won’t do much to protect you from an armed mob if that mob thinks you have the supplies that would save them. Hell, even if they couldn’t get to you (you’ve hardened your location or are well armed), some would just burn your house down around you out of spite. Things might be a little more manageable for people who live in a rural area or semi-rural suburbs, but in any metropolitan area your house will be entered multiple times by looters (many of whom you used to be on the PTA/PTO with… lol).

    While it’s not a practical solution by any means, it is a little scary to ponder how many people’s SHTF plans are to take what they need by force. Or, how many people’s plans would evolve into that as they exhaust their stockpile.

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  10. Greg Norton says:

    –even if this is only partly true, it’s still chilling.

    A girl with whom I started at GTE in the 90s currently works in a C-suite job at Chase, managing EBT cards based on tech the bank acquired from a company she worked for in Tampa.

    Hardcore Prog, X-er hippie wannabe sad she missed the 60s by a couple of decades. No real job skills beyond being social.

    Something still smells off about that story, but ok if it came directly from Flynn, we’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.

    OTOH, what bankster ever turns down money? Maybe Flynn pays off the card every month, and that’s the real “reputational risk”.

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  11. JimB says:

    Re what Chad said, I have known members of a certain church who certainly have the capability, but maybe not the need. However, desperate times being out desperation.

    It is good to have capable and prepared neighbors as long as all are on good terms.

  12. Alan says:

    What if the Biden team is every bit as bad as it looks?

    New York Post : In the midst of a White House breakdown: Goodwin.
    https://nypost.com/2021/08/28/in-the-midst-of-a-white-house-breakdown-goodwin/

  13. dkreck says:

    Knock off the gaming.

    https://althouse.blogspot.com/2021/08/china-limits-videogames-to-three-hours.html

    Of course rock n roll was going to destroy us.

     

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  14. Greg Norton says:

    Of course rock n roll was going to destroy us.

    Paging Tipper Gore.

    Or is she remarried these days?

  15. Chad says:

    Of course rock n roll was going to destroy us.

    <looks around at today’s problems> Perhaps it succeeded. 🙂 lol

  16. drwilliams says:

    @Nick

    Ever tried visco-elastic insoles?

  17. Nick Flandrey says:

    @drwilliams, the squishy insoles always caused my knees to hurt from misalignment.

    I had custom orthotics made that protected my knees and back, but still were uncomfortable enough on my feet that I didn’t wear them regularly. After all the ‘cleanup’ the Dr did to both my knees, the geometry of my legs changed and the orthotics no longer fit (no longer aligned everything in my stance correctly.)

    I was pain free for over a decade, but stuff is wearing out again.

    It would be worse if the hall didn’t have any carpet. At least they had their normal ‘hotel ballroom grade’ carpet, even if the room still had plenty of the old concrete hall showing around the edges.

    BTW, even a big Marriott hotel in a good part of Houston was showing the effects of covid depression. The parking lot was full of potholes and was at least a year or two overdue for resurfacing. THe hall was even more run down than our last show there, pre-covid. The other visible clientele were not business people (it was the weekend).

    The “new” Sheraton hotel near my house, which was only open for a short while, maybe a year or two, before covid, is now abandoned. They’ve removed the corporate branding. It was completely closed for the last 18months. There will be a reckoning in the hospitality industry that will have impacts for years, even if we avoid a civil war.

    n

  18. Nick Flandrey says:

    We had 200 tables set up in the hall, about 120 or 160 presold, and the Chairman couldn’t tell me yet how many no-shows we had, but he thought it was fewer than 1/3.

    n

  19. Nick Flandrey says:

    @lynn, oops. https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/08/inflation-skyrockets-us-russia-saudi-arabia-sign-agreement-ending-petrol-dollar-putting-us-dollar-economy-risk/

    For the last 50 years, the petrodollar was in place. Big oil made its transactions in USD. Then a couple of days ago, Russia and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement that likely went beyond the military and defense cooperation it claims. The agreement likely removes the two countries from their relationship with the dollar.

    –I’ve been wrong about so many financial things, it would really suck to be right about this.

    n

  20. Greg Norton says:

    The “new” Sheraton hotel near my house, which was only open for a short while, maybe a year or two, before covid, is now abandoned. They’ve removed the corporate branding. It was completely closed for the last 18months. There will be a reckoning in the hospitality industry that will have impacts for years, even if we avoid a civil war.

    Pray that the Sheraton building doesn’t become a homeless shelter like we’ve seen happen here in Austin.

    And it isn’t just Downtown, where the CHUDs roam freely north of 3rd St. The most recent city shelter acquisition is a Candlewood Suites directly across from the fairly upscale mall near our house, without any city services or public transportation beyond buses, sharing the parking lot with an Olive Garden and regional KB Home offices.

    Our worthless RINO “Judge” let it happen but is now trying to backpedal. Getting rid of the Right Reverend will be painful since it will mean a Prog for four years starting in 2023, but that may be necessary.

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  21. nick flandrey says:

    Why do you think it would be better under an unknown prog?  It could be much worse.

    n

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  22. MrAtoz says:

    plugs brings up his dead son, again, and thinks it consoles the wife of dead Marine:

    ‘You can’t f*ck up as bad as he did and say you’re sorry’: Joe Biden’s meeting with pregnant widow of Marine killed in Kabul reportedly felt ‘scripted and shallow’

    Nobody knows, nor cares about, Beau my dear plugs. You’ll get no sympathy while comforting a wife who lost her husband in combat. Why even bring it up? His handlers seem like they are setting him up for failure. Nothing comes from the heart from this guy.

  23. Greg Norton says:

    Why do you think it would be better under an unknown prog? It could be much worse.

    Williamson County will have to get voting for Progs out of its system sooner or later, better sooner, purging a hypocrite RINO, IMHO, than a rerun of what happened to the competent Sheriff, Robert Chody, last year.

    Ultimately, given the Subcontinent numbers here along with West Coast transplants, however, Williamson is headed towards being a Prog county long term. It will probably start with Dell getting the Congressional seat its been after for most of the time we’ve lived in Texas.

    I saw two CA plates and one from Oregon running an errand at lunchtime.

  24. drwilliams says:

    @Nick

    If inflation is coming back it is unlikely that another currency will be a better hedge than the USD.

  25. nick flandrey says:

    Swiss francs?

    I don’t think any of the currencies are going to be good choices.   Inflation is already here.   My wife has money in the bank for the kids’ college funds and for retirement and that is and will stay in USD, and that does not comfort me.  Inflation will wipe out those savings when it goes hyper.

    I was poking Lynn because his only counter to a narrative that leads to hyperinflation in the USD is our status as ‘reserve currency’.  That status is based largely on our insistence on rule of law, and on the petrodollar tying the dollar to oil and not gold in the physical realm. It is literally an ‘oil standard’.

    We are abandoning rule of law, looking more and more like a hidden oligarchy ruling by fiat, and the world is abandoning the petrodollar (has been for at least the last 5 years.)

    That isn’t good.

    n

  26. Greg Norton says:

    I was poking Lynn because his only counter to a narrative that leads to hyperinflation in the USD is our status as ‘reserve currency’. That status is based largely on our insistence on rule of law, and on the petrodollar tying the dollar to oil and not gold in the physical realm. It is literally an ‘oil standard’.

    At the moment, no one else can run the kind of trade deficits necessary to establish a replacement to the dollar as a reserve currency without incurring the wrath of their populations due to the mass unemployment which would be required. The oft-repeated “basket” concept would depend on a lot of trust between the players, and who trusts China right now?

    Really trusts?

  27. MrAtoz says:

    It is laughable listening to the PinHeadaGon spokesman saying “it doesn’t matter” “we already talked about that”. The guy is incompetent as spokesman. But, keep up the lies and covering for plugs. The MSM is waiting with a job for you in a couple of months.

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  28. drwilliams says:

    DeSantis White House in 2024:

    If you couldn’t answer the questions for Plugs, you ain’t fit to be asking questions now.

  29. Greg Norton says:

    DeSantis White House in 2024:

    Only if he survives reelection with Little Marco retaining the Senate seat.

    2024 is being fought now in Florida. Risky, but the Republicans can regroup if things fall apart in the state next year.

  30. Greg Norton says:

    I say, I say, boy! 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iec5M0tbAW0

    Maybe Biden was channeling Fritz Hollings. Biden delivered the eulogy at Hollings’ funeral in 2019.

  31. Alan says:

    Nobody knows, nor cares about, Beau my dear plugs. You’ll get no sympathy while comforting a wife who lost her husband in combat. Why even bring it up? His handlers seem like they are setting him up for failure. Nothing comes from the heart from this guy.

    And you presume he has a heart why? Just strings my boy…ohh, oops, sorry, my bad.

  32. MrAtoz says:

    Sweet graphic of what plugs left in Afghanistan:

    Jen Psaki’s spin for why Biden left the Taliban with $80 billion in vehicles, weapons & aircraft melts BS detectors

    Sweet Geebus! 16,000 Night Vision Devices. I wish I had some of those. Or a couple of Black Hawks. Some high maintenance items, but, wow, a small army. We should be bombing the shit out of all of it right now. Or, invade Afghanistan and take our shit, and some goats, back.

  33. lynn says:

    @lynn, oops. https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/08/inflation-skyrockets-us-russia-saudi-arabia-sign-agreement-ending-petrol-dollar-putting-us-dollar-economy-risk/

    For the last 50 years, the petrodollar was in place. Big oil made its transactions in USD. Then a couple of days ago, Russia and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement that likely went beyond the military and defense cooperation it claims. The agreement likely removes the two countries from their relationship with the dollar.

    –I’ve been wrong about so many financial things, it would really suck to be right about this.

    n

    Hey, I’ve been the one saying that crude was going to be $100/bbl by Memorial Day and now Labor Day. Obviously not gonna happen yet, we are stuck at $65/bbl right now.

    But, but, but, Saudi Arabia is our friend ! G. W. Bush told us that.

    Does Biden have the guts to tell the Saudis that, unlike the Yemenese missiles, the USA missiles will hit very expensive things to fix ? I’ll bet two cents not.

    BTW, the USA oil industry can ramp back up another two to four million barrels of oil per day in a year, a total of 12 to 14 million barrels/day. It will happen automatically when the price of crude oil hits $100/bbl. The Saudis were not successful in destroying the fracking industry.

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  34. lynn says:

    BTW, did you see that the Taiwanese threatened the mainland Chinese that if they are attacked that they will destroy the Three Gorges Dam ? I cannot find the article I saw yesterday but here is an old article:
    https://asiatimes.com/2018/01/two-missiles-can-blow-up-chinas-three-gorges-dam-taiwan-strategist-claims/

  35. MrAtoz says:

    What a shit show from plugs. Pics of what looks like someone hung from a new Tolli-bon Blackhawk, Merrick Garland calling on the *legal* community to prevent *unnecessary evictions, Stretch telling us how great plugs is. How long before Gays are splatting out of Blackhawks. Garland may just as well say there is no Constitution. Stretch and plugs, what a combo.

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  36. drwilliams says:

    @Nick

    re: viscoelastic insoles

    First pair I had came with some safety shoes. Of course when I went back to get another pair a few months later, they were not available.

    I’ve seen the thick ones that are like walking on jello shots. Pass. There are some out there that are “just right”Can’t locate a brand name just now.

    re: “preppers”

    The bright boys that think that a gun will get them food usually don’t realize that those of us with guns and food know who they are and what their intent is, and will have no hesitancy at all when the time comes.

    ADDED: Heinlein wrote about the type in “Time Enough for Love”

  37. Greg Norton says:

    BTW, did you see that the Taiwanese threatened the mainland Chinese that if they are attacked that they will destroy the Three Gorges Dam ? I cannot find the article I saw yesterday but here is an old article:

    Taiwan is another one of those countries where it is unclear if their nuclear program was successful.

    The program didn’t halt until the late 80s, under extreme US pressure.

    I always figured the first surprise nuclear club member to reveal possession of at least one bomb would be the Afrikaaner government in exile from South Africa, in order to deter a liquidation of the remaining white population, but Taiwan may flash their Nukem Express card first.

    Don’t leave home without it.

  38. lynn says:

    “Gravity-based renewable energy storage tower for grid-scale operations”
    https://www.pv-magazine.com/2021/08/26/gravity-based-renewable-energy-storage-tower-for-grid-scale-operations/

    “Energy Vault secured $100 million in Series C funding for its EVx tower, which stores gravitational potential energy for grid dispatch.”

    I may have seen it all now.

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  39. nick flandrey says:

    Anyone else find the percentage of conservative radio hosts that died from wuflu unlikely?

     Florida radio host Marc Bernier, 65, who called himself ‘Mr Anti-Vax’ becomes third broadcaster to die from Covid-19 after publicly criticising vaccine

    Barnier was known for inviting guests with different viewpoints onto his show, such as Democrats, but he had publicly spoken out against vaccines
    He had been hospitalized since August 7, and battled the disease for weeks
    Friends were quick to praise the host following the news of his death

    –I mean, how many conservative radio hosts are there? For three to die, there must be about 3 million.* We know that isn’t true.

    n

    *if we use the UK delta numbers, and I’m remembering correctly.

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  40. Nightraker says:

    RIP L. Neil Smith

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  41. pecancorner says:

    BTW, the USA oil industry can ramp back up another two to four million barrels of oil per day in a year, a total of 12 to 14 million barrels/day. It will happen automatically when the price of crude oil hits $100/bbl. The Saudis were not successful in destroying the fracking industry.

    Yes. American Oil can always ramp up fast when there is valuable reason to do so.  Lots of people talk about how it can’t happen… anyone from the Oil Patch knows better.  I’ve seen them build massive offshore rigs from an inland empty fenced yard to out the door on “wide load” trucks in four months flat.

    But it won’t bother me if our enemies believe the “Peak Oil” nonsense.  It’s remarkable how many geologists, when speaking where the internet can’t hear, will insist that oil is renewable.

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  42. pecancorner says:

    Hey!

    Today in History: Aug 30, 1836 – The city of Houston is founded by Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen. “Houston” was a lot snappier-sounding than “mosquito-ridden, festering bayou”.

    via Mostly Cajun blog

     

  43. lynn says:

    But it won’t bother me if our enemies believe the “Peak Oil” nonsense. It’s remarkable how many geologists, when speaking where the internet can’t hear, will insist that oil is renewable.

    I can make oil using algae and air for about $10/gallon. I have seen many doctoral Chemical Engineers do so for their doctoral thesis. The only problem is the energy intake (lots !) and the actual number one product is glycerine which must be landfilled as the glycerine market is swamped currently by the natural gas to diesel reactors running in Qatar and Louisiana. Wait, they may not be running in Louisiana right now.

  44. lynn says:

    Hey!

    Today in History: Aug 30, 1836 – The city of Houston is founded by Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen. “Houston” was a lot snappier-sounding than “mosquito-ridden, festering bayou”.

    via Mostly Cajun blog
    https://mostlycajun.com/wordpress/?p=52147

    Everyone in Houston needs to thank me today. Had I not installed the 38 kw whole house generator three weeks ago that is now sitting idle, we have gotten Hurricane Ida here. Since I installed the generator, the hurricane moved on.

    BTW, for Jim, my generator is rated to produce 158 amps at 230 volts at peak load. My transfer switch is rated at 175 amps at 230 volts. And my circuit breaker box is rated at 200 amps at 230 volts. None of that has any effect on the actual generator load.

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  45. EdH says:

    “Gravity-based renewable energy storage tower for grid-scale operations”

    Lead or depleted Uranium would make more sense than “local soil”.

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  46. ~jim says:

    re: viscoelastic insoles

    Not exactly visco-elastic(?) but I’ve sworn by ye olde basic Spencos for gosh, 40 years now? Closed cell neoprene. Nothing fancy, but they don’t break down.

    https://www.amazon.com/Spenco-Incorporated-Standard-Insoles-11-12/dp/B00GXK9A3E/?tag=ttgnet-20

  47. Greg Norton says:

    Everyone in Houston needs to thank me today. Had I not installed the 38 kw whole house generator three weeks ago that is now sitting idle, we have gotten Hurricane Ida here. Since I installed the generator, the hurricane moved on.

    Please. Tom Brady was in town Saturday night.

    Even hurricanes know Brady is on a mission. Plus, the rookie needed the practice.

    Kyle Trask already met expectations both in terms of story and butts in pre-season seats, but the fumbles need to stop.

  48. nick flandrey says:

    I wear shoes on the floor based on their padding and support.  (and whether I need protection during load in)  My second day was a lightweight pair of new tactical boots, very fluffy (and huge toe box to let my sore bunnion breathe).  My third was a very lightweight pair of columbia  crosstrainers, also very well padded and supportive.   The first day in a pair of merrill hiking boots (so as to keep my toesies from being squished by a rolling cart) was probably what set me on the path to ache-y town.

    I try not to wear the same shoe twice in a row, and I’ve definitely shifted toward “comfort” on the “comfort <–>style” continuum.  🙂

    n

     

  49. nick flandrey says:

    It lifts large bricks using electric motors, thereby creating gravitational energy. When power needs to be discharged back to the grid, the bricks are lowered, harvesting the kinetic energy.

    There is zero degradation in the storage capacity of the raised composite blocks, which can remain in the raised position for unlimited periods of time, said Energy Vault.

    –I see three lies or misstatements in there, and the 35 year life is pretty optimistic. I’d also love to see how they get 85% “round trip” efficiency out of electric motors and what amounts to running the motor backwards as a generator. If they do anything more complex than that, the losses just get bigger. And what was the loss generating the energy to lift the block? Solar is 28%iirc at best. I bet there is no actual equation behind that number.

    n

    added- what is the embodied cost of building that structure, when will it break even, what are the ongoing maintenance costs, staffing costs, etc? What is the cost to fuse a block of soil and garbage (multi ton block!) ship said garbage to site, how big is the counter weight block the thing is bolted to underground? BOONDOGGLE. Should be written on the side.

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  50. lpdbw says:

    Gravitational energy?

    How much mass are we talking about?

    I’ve heard there are some hydro projects that use off peak times to pump water uphill to reservoirs for peak load boosts.  In a good stream, we are talking mass measured by acre-feet of water, not measly tons of lead or rock.

  51. Geoff Powell says:

    @lpdbw:

    I’ve heard there are some hydro projects that use off peak times to pump water uphill to reservoirs for peak load boosts

    There are two such in North Wales, Dinorwig and Ffestiniog. There’s a good article about Dinorwig at Wikipedia. Ffestiniog is smaller – 2 turbines rather than 6.

    In theory, Dinorwig could power most of Wales for about 5 hours, but it isn’t used for that. Instead, it’s used for peak-levelling, because of its fast response – 30 seconds from spinning standby to full (1.8GW) output. Each turbine (there are 6) at full output consumes an Olympic swimming pool’s worth of water every 6 seconds for up to 5 hours before Marchlyn Mawr needs to be refilled, by turning the turbines into pumps, driven by the National Grid (normally at night, when the grid is less loaded).

    I’ve visited it, and except for the upper (Llyn Marchlyn Mawr) and lower (Llyn Peris) reservoirs, it’s invisible inside the mountain, Eilidir Fawr. The visitor centre is called Electric Mountain. Well worth seeing, if you’re in the area.

    G.

  52. nick flandrey says:

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/08/us-contract-working-dogs-abandoned-kabul-airport-last-plane-left/

    –if they were cop dogs they are legally police officers and hurting them carries the same penalties as hurting a human officer.  Despite how I may feel about the appropriateness of that,  it’s the law.   So WTF  is going on?   Empty planes left.

    If some afgani with a US passport wants to stay, let them, but to leave the dogs to be beaten and killed by the islamic savages who hate dogs?

    I’m not more angry about the dogs than I am about the humans, but the dogs didn’t know anything bad was coming.  They are entirely dependent on us, and we left them?

    n

  53. drwilliams says:

    @Geoff Powell

    Thanks for the link.

    Efficiency from wiki is 74-76%. (Note in section “may contain too much detail”. )

    Visitor center is closed with no reopen date.

  54. lynn says:

    _MaddAddam (The MaddAddam Trilogy)_ by Margaret Atwood
    https://www.amazon.com/MaddAddam-Trilogy-Margaret-Atwood/dp/0307455483/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number three of a three book apocalyptic science fiction series. I read the well printed and well bound trade paperback published by Anchor Books (Random House) in 2014. I doubt that there will be any more books in the series.

    This series should really be called The Half Century of the Waterless Flood. The USA government failed around the year 2100 and the various Corporation security forces took charge ending up in “he who has the gold makes the rules”. For safety reasons, the Corporations had already built their areas into walled enclaves of peace and safety, they just extended their influence into the general populace.

    The 22nd century is a wild and crazy place. The gene splicers are running rampant in the center of civilization and at the edges. Many different animals have been spliced together or modified for different reasons. A religious cult had a liobam built from a lion and lamb and then set them to roam free. A drug manufacturer built the pigoon, a pig with significant human DNA for growing human hearts and kidneys, up to ten at a time. But the human DNA made the pigoon a predator and a team builder.

    Crake was the best of the gene splicers. He bioengineered enhancements for humans to extend life and make people younger. And then he built his children, a new human with less violent tendencies and able to live from eating grass. And then Crake built a virus, a horrible virus that killed off 99+% of the human race around the globe in a year. Except, those few people that Crake gave the vaccine to or managed to quarantine themselves away from the populace.

    All good things must come to an end and so must all horrible things. The series was very good and also very horrible. The Waterless Flood Pandemic killed over 99.9% of humanity with the gengineered virus. Yet what was life like afterwards ? Do the children of Crake and Oryx repopulate the planet ?

    My rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,865 reviews)

  55. nick flandrey says:

    @lynn, does she LIKE the passive grass eating geneered humans?  Do you get the feeling she’d like to see that?

    n

  56. lynn says:

    @lynn, does she LIKE the passive grass eating geneered humans? Do you get the feeling she’d like to see that?

    n

    Don’t know. Atwood certainly presented a totally screwed up world in the late 21st century and the beginning of the 22nd century. The USA was a country of protected enclaves and utter lawlessness outside them.

    I think that Atwood was really going after the gene splicers. She obviously sees them taking over society with their “magic” cures for aging that work for a little while and then return to the actual age. And the crazy gene splicers who want to cure humanity or even get rid of humanity and leave the Earth for a “better” human. Or the animals.

    The gengineered animals that she discussed were unreal. The pigoons with significant human DNA so they could grow multiple human organs quickly. But they were smart and escaped into the wilds. The Liobams, a cross between the Lion and the Lamb (see scripture). Many, many others until Crake built his “children” with over 25 gene splices.

    And the targeted viruses that would cause your human target to melt away. Most were stopped at some point but not the last one.

  57. nick flandrey says:

    Good article on one of the negative things to consider when looking at a solar power system.

    They are all chinese, they lie, their warranty is only as good as your ability to enforce it.  You can’t enforce anything.

    https://www.ecmweb.com/renewables/article/21165855/buyer-beware

    Failure is an option?

    When a vendor exits the U.S. market, goes bankrupt, or struggles to honor its warranties, it can drag down the brand reputations and bottom lines of the contractors it works with. That risk isn’t unique to solar, of course, but the odds are higher than in a lot of other industries.

    “There are so many newer companies, especially from Asia, that were startups that failed,” says Sam Vanderhoof, CEO of South Lake Tahoe, Nev.-based Recycle PV Solar. “We’re not talking about a few — more than a thousand.”

    Recycle PV Solar helps contractors, manufacturers, and others safely dispose of equipment that’s damaged, obsolete, or orphaned. That means every day, Vanderhoof sees contractors and end-users struggle with vendor exits.

    “It’s not a new phenomenon,” he says. “It’s a major problem right now.”

    n

    1
  58. drwilliams says:

    One of the classics that I could never get into in my youth was the Jeeves and Wooster books. I still haven’t read them, but I was long ago relieved of the necessity by the brilliant television series starring Steven Frey and Hugh Laurie.

    Thirty years on they remain popular and accessible online, but, alas, they are not well-indexed. I don’t remember the episode, but there is scene where Jeeves explains art of disparagement at length, the “pooh-pooh”.

    I haven’t viewed it in 25 years or so, but IIRC is would be the perfect device to ridicule allypoo’s latest on HotAir.

    I was fortunate to live near several university libraries while in high school, and even more fortunate to find staff willing to begin my education in library research before I was university student. I got a real kick out of reading some of the seminal papers published in science and engineering in the 19th century in their original journals. The first time I went to a Patent and Trademark Depository library was right up there with seeing The Who in my book. Much later I got trained in searching patents, and when the IBM Patent Database went online I found a high-speed connection and lost a lot of sleep.

    It’s much easier now with the internet. Even with the conspiracy of pale sweaty billionaires vying to be the second coming of Goebbels, it just doesn’t take much rooting around to find things out.

    So when alleypoo tries to disparage Rand Paul’s comments on ivermectin, he strays off and makes sweeping comments like “it just doesn’t work” and links to the ever-unreliable NYT.

    The first problem is there are numerous studies that do show positive results, and there are also good examples of widespread use in poor countries that do not have access to vaccine which seem to be associated with improved outcomes. They are not hard to find, just takes three words into a search engine.

    The second problem is that by attaching some Twits, he has conclusively demonstrated that Frank Luntz is a cheap propagandist and total wanker.

    I was pretty sure, but now I have the proof in the archive.

  59. drwilliams says:

    @Nick

    “They are all chinese, they lie, their warranty is only as good as your ability to enforce it. You can’t enforce anything.”

    I’ve had the conversation numerous times:

    VENDOR: We have a 25-year warranty.

    ME: How long have you been in business?

    VENDOR: 5 years.

    ME: So what’s the basis for the 25-year warranty?

    If the reply isn’t an engineering analysis based on component and materials testing, I’m done.

     

  60. Nick Flandrey says:

    Time for an early bed… because morning comes awfully early.

    n

    😉

  61. lynn says:

    “New Orleans faces THREE WEEKS without electricity after Hurricane Ida downed 2,000 miles of power lines across Louisiana, as looting begins and sewage companies warn outage has stopped pumps from working”
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9939879/Ida-knocks-power-New-Orleans-downgraded-tropical-storm.html

    This is why I bought a whole house generator.

    BTW, that is 2,000 miles of TRANSMISSION power lines (69,000 volts to 345,000 volts) are down. There is probably a million miles of distribution lines (4,000 volts to 20,000 volts) that are down. This is going to take months to fix. Restringing those 75 foot tall transmission towers takes a lot of guys and a lot of aluminum cable. I wonder how many of the towers are down, that is freaking disaster. We had 30 or 40 miles of 345,000 volt towers go down in 1982 from a tornado, it took us 18 months to get them back up, just acquiring the new steel was a major effort.

    Hat tip to:
    http://drudgereport.com/

  62. JimB says:

    Good article on one of the negative things to consider when looking at a solar power system.

    It’s late, and the article is behind a registration wall. Maybe tomorrow.

    I will say I would also consider being my own integrator, similar to building PCs. I know two people who did this using surplus panels when panels were expensive. That was too long ago to be relevant, but they use high quality panels that are holding up well. No warranty,  nor need. Similar story for electronics, although that field is evolving differently. Batteries are yet another piece of the puzzle.

    I do know a guy who went first class turnkey. He spent more than he will ever recoup. My take on the game is saving money while increasing reliability.

  63. Nick Flandrey says:

    Sorry about the paywall, the URL looked clean and I”m a subscriber.

    n

    Solar is a hot market — partly due to all the vendor flameouts that have left contractors and customers scrambling for warranty support, parts, and more.
    Tim Kridel

    Twenty years ago, solar cost more than $15 per watt to install, according to the research firm Wood Mackenzie. Now it’s under a buck and still heading south.

    There’s promise and peril in that trend. On the plus side, declining prices make solar attractive to more customers — from homeowners to electric utilities. But a booming market also attracts hordes of vendor newcomers looking for a piece of the action. More competition helps drive down prices, yet heavy competition also makes it tough for vendors — particularly startups and other smaller ones — to price their products high enough to fund enough R&D for market-differentiating performance and features. It also leaves less money to cover warranty claims.

    For people like Joe Brotherton, those market conditions mean lots of legwork to figure out which vendors have the staying power to support their products years down the road.

    “I walked in this morning to two voicemails from companies I’d never heard of,” says Brotherton, vice president of renewables at San Diego-based Helix Electric. “One said they have 50MW to put in place this year. Another said they’ve already put in 350MW and are looking to do another 100MW this year — all in the commercial space.

    “Never heard of them. Went to their websites and never heard of any of the individuals [running the company]. Who are we hooking our trailers to?”

    Failure is an option?

    When a vendor exits the U.S. market, goes bankrupt, or struggles to honor its warranties, it can drag down the brand reputations and bottom lines of the contractors it works with. That risk isn’t unique to solar, of course, but the odds are higher than in a lot of other industries.

    “There are so many newer companies, especially from Asia, that were startups that failed,” says Sam Vanderhoof, CEO of South Lake Tahoe, Nev.-based Recycle PV Solar. “We’re not talking about a few — more than a thousand.”

    Recycle PV Solar helps contractors, manufacturers, and others safely dispose of equipment that’s damaged, obsolete, or orphaned. That means every day, Vanderhoof sees contractors and end-users struggle with vendor exits.

    “It’s not a new phenomenon,” he says. “It’s a major problem right now.”

    Just ask J. Scott Christianson. Right after installing a 24-panel system on his home in Columbia, Mo., some of the microinverters stopped showing up in the monitoring system. Thus began a six-year-plus saga that he documented on Reddit.

    “The inverters have a 20-year warranty — one of the reasons we purchased them,” he wrote. The manufacturer sent him new ones, but he had to install them himself.

    “I now have another inverter that will not talk to the system,” he wrote, adding that the manufacturer seems to have left the U.S. market. “I have had no luck getting in touch with them, and the distributor has only offered to sell me a different brand — and has had no better luck getting in contact with [the manufacturer].”

    If misery loves company, then Reddit solar threads offer plenty of both. One response to Christianson came from a person who works in the commercial and industrial space, where another brand of inverters “literally vibrated themselves apart” on a project.

    “The owner sued them, and they gave them money to rewire the whole plant since they could not service their warranty,” that person wrote. “For anyone that reads this, warranty is only as good as the company that is willing or capable to service it.”
    The devil is in the details

    Even when a vendor is willing and capable, it’s still important to scrutinize the warranty’s fine print.

    “Warranties are crap,” Brotherton says. “Every single one has holes in it. Our industry I feel is one that you can’t say: ‘It’s only this type of product’ or ‘It’s only the product that comes from this country.’

    “A particular inverter manufacturer says if it’s within, I think, 13 miles of the ocean, we need to do something special for it. No one is going to pay for a stainless-steel enclosure for an inverter that’s going on a shade structure at an elementary school.”

    When customers want a particular vendor, Helix educates them about the warranty requirements.

    “We say, ‘Just to let you know before we get started, here are parts of this project that may have an effect on the warranty,’” Brotherton says.

    One challenge is that contractors and their customers see only the warranty itself rather than its financial foundation. For example, one vendor’s marketing highlighted how its 25-year warranty was backed by Lloyd’s of London.

    “Come to find out, they paid their premium monthly,” Vanderhoof says. “The whole thing collapsed.”

    For contractors, another factor is whether they’ll be reimbursed — fairly or at all — when they help fulfill a vendor’s warranty.

    “Most companies have warranties that say if you have problems with your solar panel, we’ll replace it for free,” says Barry Cinnamon, CEO of Campbell, Calif.-based Cinnamon Energy Systems. “Great! A solar panel sells for $200. It costs me $200 to send a crew out to remove it. It costs me $200 to send someone back to put it on. That can’t be done in one trip because they require them to evaluate the panel. You have to ship it back to them first, and it costs $200 to ship the panel.”

    That works out to $600 to replace a $200 solar panel. Will the contractor get reimbursed for that $600?

    “I hate to say it, but when that happens with these companies that I don’t trust on the warranty, I just replace the panel myself,” Cinnamon says. “It’s not worth the brain damage of trying to get the warranty met.”
    Bigger is better

    Even so, warranties remain a compelling selling point, especially in the residential market. Hence the vendor one-upmanship: first five years, then 10, then 25.

    “It’s all a marketing thing,” Vanderhoof says. “I don’t think consumers grasp that.”

    Some vendors have gone out of business because they couldn’t cover their warranties. One school of thought says that vendors big enough to be household names also have the financial scale and business-line diversity to back their warranties.

    “Companies like Kyocera, BP, Hyundai, and Sharp have enough stability with their other businesses that it doesn’t tank their solar business if they have a diode failure or something,” Vanderhoof says.

    Another school of thought says that household names don’t want problems in their solar business sullying their overall brand, so they’ll bend over backward to back their warranties, particularly in the residential market.

    “The big companies — Panasonic, LG, the ones that really care about their consumer warranty — they’ll bend over backward,” Cinnamon says. “Kyocera comes to mind. They’re one of the best. Sharp also is very good.”

    But others question whether big, diversified companies are an inherently safer bet for contractors and customers alike.

    “I don’t really take that into account only because these big companies can just flat out shut something down and not support it at all overnight,” Brotherton says. “They can deal with the complaints.”

    Another factor is the vendor’s location. If it exits the U.S. market, then pursuing a claim could require hiring a law firm with international expertise. That’s often cost-prohibitive.

    “You can’t go after them,” Cinnamon says. “So, I think the biggest hazard for electrical contractors — especially with batteries — is going with a battery or a system from a company that doesn’t already have a well-known U.S. brand.”

    Some types of customers have more flexibility when it comes to accommodating a warranty’s terms. For example, some warranties will provide additional modules to augment the existing ones when they experience a certain level of power degradation. Utility and commercial customers are more likely to have the roof space to accommodate the additional modules than consumers are. This also is an example of how warranties are continually evolving.

    “The warranties are really different than they were 10 years ago,” Vanderhoof says. “They’re now sometimes for quality of workmanship and only for a short period. Then there’s power degradation over time. That can fade out like a car tire warranty, where it’s not worth as much toward the end.”

    Batteries are another problem area.

    “We all know that batteries don’t last that long,” Cinnamon says. “There’s a lot of new companies, a lot of overseas companies, a lot of new technologies. They all say they have a 10-year warranty on their batteries; otherwise, they can’t sell them. Some of those aren’t going to work.”
    Insurance and O&M firms to the rescue

    It’s inevitable that more vendors will go out of business, so what can regulators and the industry do to protect contractors and customers? One possibility is an escrow fund to support orphaned systems. California considered that over a decade ago, but it never went anywhere.

    “The industry just couldn’t afford to pay that,” Vanderhoof says. “As an industry, we’ve got ourselves in a dilemma. There’s no real clear way of dealing with this. Some kind of insurance policy probably is the best bet.”

    One example is GCube Insurance Services, which says it’s underwritten more than 20GW worth of systems globally since 2005.

    “Several solar manufacturers offer warranties as a way to give peace of mind to contractors and customers that there will be someone backing the product even if the manufacturer is no longer in operation,” says Evelyn Butler, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) vice president of technical services. “Like many other products, warranties are backed by third-party insurers or similar organizations.

    “Some businesses have emerged to provide operations and maintenance (O&M) services and production guarantees if the system does not routinely perform as expected. It may not guarantee that the equipment manufacturer will be around, but it does provide assurances to the customer that there is a process to manage product repair and placement.”

    Demand for O&M services is reflected in how those companies are scaling up.

    “In our latest analysis, published in July last year, we identified 13 major transactions with seven of them concentrated in the U.S. — most of them M&As involving American companies,” says Leila Garcia da Fonseca, Wood Mackenzie principal analyst, energy transition. “These service providers are usually capable of handling all O&M tasks, including repairs and replacements of orphaned components from suppliers that are out of the market. While there are several Asian components manufacturing companies supplying the global solar industry, service providers tend to be more local.”

    Another resource is PV Evolution Labs (PVEL), which provides reliability and performance testing for modules and inverters. Its Scorecards are like Consumer Reports: a crash course about a product type, purchasing tips, and a rundown of how each vendor’s product fared in tests. See Fig. 1 for an overview of which PV system components generate the most maintenance tickets. For example, its Inverter Scorecard includes thermal cycling and humidity freeze tests, where 21% to 25% failed to operate as intended (Fig. 2).

    Recycle PV Solar gets a lot of calls from people trying to sell their homes, but an inspection reveals inverter problems, and they find out that their installer no longer is in business. This points to O&M opportunities in the residential market, too.

    “Nobody wants to touch an older system that they didn’t install themselves,” Vanderhoof says. “In 2020, more than a gigawatt was decommissioned in the U.S. Why? Could they still be used? So, O&M companies are starting to pop up.”

    Whether the end-user is an electric utility or a homeowner, O&M companies can be a source of parts that are tough to find.

    “There are distributors that sell replacement parts, as well as third-party O&M service providers that might be able to find suitable replacement parts,” Butler says. “Purchasing refurbished equipment might also be an option, but it depends on what was fixed and the status of the product safety certification post-refurbishment.

    “If the PV system is leased, the third-party owner is responsible for post-installation service, product replacement, and repair. If the system is owned outright, we highly recommend contracting with an O&M service provider that can assist with performance monitoring, product replacement, and repair.”

    Kridel is an independent analyst and freelance writer with experience in covering technology, telecommunications, and more. He can be reached at tim@timkridel.com.

    n

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