Friday, 18 November 2016

08:08 – Barbara just left to drive over to West Jefferson, where she’ll spend the day with Frances, Al, and their friend Marcy. It’ll be wild women and parties for Colin and me today.

Barbara and I drove over to Blue Ridge Co-op around lunchtime yesterday and signed up to have a propane tank installed. Lowes is supposed to deliver our gas cooktop on, bizarrely enough, Thanksgiving Day, so we told Blue Ridge Co-op to schedule installation of the propane tank for the first week of December.

We opted for a 250-gallon tank rather than the 120-gallon tank. The 250-gallon is the largest they’re allowed to install above-ground, and we didn’t want to get involved with the cost and hassles of a buried tank. The 250-gallon tank holds about 230 gallons when full. That should last three or four years if we use it only for cooking, even if we’re cooking for more than just the two of us. They’ll also install a quick-disconnect fitting at the back door, which we can hook up to our generator if necessary. Propane costs about three times as much as electricity per BTU, but that’s not a major concern if we’re using the propane only for cooking or in an emergency for electric power.

The gas cooktop we ordered comes standard with a propane adapter kit. It has an electric igniter, but specifically says in the specs that it can be ignited manually if the power is down.

Email from Cassie, who’s been reading what I posted recently about canning. She’s never pressure-canned anything, but they have only the small freezer in their refrigerator and she’d like to can meats that she buys on sale, particularly dark-meat chicken and bacon, as well as game that her husband brings home from hunting. But the thought of botulism scares her to death, and rightly so. She has no canning equipment or supplies, and asked me what I thought about it.

I told her that I’m no expert on pressure canning. The few times I did it I was helping someone else who was an experienced canner, and the last time I even watched was 40 years ago. That said, I told her that credible authorities, including the USDA and Ball, say that canning meats is safe if one follows directions exactly, but that just to be extra safe one should always cook canned meats thoroughly before eating them.

I suggested that she carefully consider the costs of commercially-canned meats versus DIY pressure-canned meats. She’ll need a canner. All American canners are the top of the line, but they cost $225 to $300+ depending on capacity. The 23-quart Presto canner I bought costs under $80, and does the job just as well as the more expensive canner. I suggested she also pick up a set of canning tools and a copy of Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.

She’ll also need canning jars, lids, and bands. I suggested Walmart as a good source for those. She needs to decide between quart jars, which hold about two pounds of meat, versus pint jars, which hold about one pound. The trade-off is that the jars cost about the same for either size, but that with just the two of them she may not want to have her meat stored two pounds per jar with no easy way to preserve it after opening a jar other perhaps than maintaining a constantly-simmering pot of pottage. If she does opt for pint jars, I recommended that she buy a second canning rack so that she can process twice as many jars per run. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to buy spares for the gasket, pressure gauge, and pressure valve.


Friday, 4 November 2016

10:06 – Updated polling results. Last time, I surveyed five people, of whom only four were likely voters. The results were Trump 100% and everyone else 0%. But that was when Barbara had told me she wasn’t going to vote. Yesterday, she changed her mind because not voting would essentially be a vote for Clinton. So, with the sample size now five, the results are now Trump 125% and everyone else 0%. Even with a large margin of error, things are looking dim for Clinton.

Barbara called me on her way back from Winston yesterday when she was about half an hour from home. She suggested picking me up on the way past and heading into Sparta to refill her gas tank and vote. Gas had gone up Monday from $2.13 to $2.19, and it was still at that price. No line. So we filled up and headed for the early voting place downtown. No lines there, either. We voted and headed home, all within ten or fifteen minutes. I was pleased to see that, although the voting machines were electronic, they produced a paper audit trail.

As we got in the car to return home, I commented to Barbara that the last time I’d voted Republican was for Nixon in 1972. Barbara and I were among those millions (or tens of millions) of “hidden” Trump voters. Not that we like Trump. Both of us despise him, but he’s infinitely better than Clinton. It felt very strange to me to be marking the Republican boxes instead of the Libertarian boxes, but there it is. I mean if I, as a radical anarchist libertarian and a former member of the Libertarian National Committee, voted Republican, how many votes can the LP expect to get? My guess is that a huge majority of those who are either large-L Libertarians or small-l libertarians will be voting for Trump.

The Colonial pipeline fire was still not completely extinguished as of late last night, but Colonial is still saying they expect Pipeline One to be back in full service as of this Sunday. They obviously know things that I don’t, so at this point I’ll believe them. Of course, even once they start pumping again, there’s a lot of empty pipe between the break and the tank farm in Greensboro. They’ll have lost a week or so of transfer, but I’m assuming the gigantic tank farm has enough capacity to buffer that loss and continue distribution uninterrupted. If so, the disruption may be minimal.

Barbara made a small Costco run yesterday on her way out of Winston. The only food she picked up was two boxes of Ritz crackers, two dozen cans of Kirkland green beans, and two 3-liter bottles of Kirkland olive oil. FedEx showed up here yesterday morning with my Walmart order. That included a gift Barbara wanted for her sister and four 2-pound boxes of Alpo Variety Snaps for Colin. As usual, I filled in with dry staples to get to the $50 minimum for free shipping, so we also got a 5-pound bag of store-brand macaroni and ten 1-pound bags of egg noodles. The macaroni was indistinguishable visually from the name-brand stuff we get in one-pound boxes at Costco, and we already knew that the store-brand egg noodles from Walmart are indistinguishable from the name-brand ones Barbara gets at the supermarket. Everything was in plastic bags and had best-by dates from 18 months to two years out, so I’m not going to worry about repackaging it.

I also ordered a 400W off-grid solar power starter kit, which gives me four panels and a PWM charge controller. For a functional system, I still need to add a couple of deep-cycle batteries and an inverter, which I’ll do shortly. And the good news is that all of this solar stuff is eligible for a 30% federal tax credit and possibly a state tax credit as well, so our actual out-of-pocket cost will be only a small fraction of the total cost.

And I see that the FBI has issued an alert. They’re apparently expecting muslim terrorists to pull something on Monday in New York, Texas, and/or Virginia. As alway, keep your eyes open, and stay away from urban areas and crowds.


Thursday, 3 November 2016

08:47 – Barbara left about 0740 to drive down to Winston for a doctor appointment, various shopping errands, a haircut, and lunch with a friend. I expect her back late this afternoon, so it’ll be wild women and parties for Colin and me until she returns.

Colonial’s estimate that they’ll have Pipeline One back in full service by the end of this week is looking more and more questionable with each passing day. The morning paper ran a headline that says the pipeline is still burning. After they get the fire out, they need to let it cool before they can even inspect it, let alone repair it. Unless they’ve spent this week building a bypass, I can’t see any way it’ll be back up by the day after tomorrow.

The timing of this event is very different from the one a couple months ago. In the earlier failure, the problem didn’t hit the news for ten days after the actual failure. That meant that the fuel still in the pipeline had time to reach the tank farm in Greensboro and the pipe itself was empty. This time, the break hit the news just a couple of days after the actual failure, so there’s still fuel in the pipe, still being delivered to the tank farm. That means distribution from the farm to gas stations has continued pretty much normally. Some gas stations are reporting sporadic delivery issues, but basically gas stations are still open and still selling fuel. The crunch will really hit around the 10th of this month, when resupply goes down completely. It looks to me as though analysts’ initial estimates that fuel delivery won’t be resumed until the late November through mid-December period were probably spot-on. It’s like watching a train wreck from orbit. It hasn’t happened yet, but you know it’s going to happen and there’s not a thing you can do about it. I suspect things are going to really start to bite just after Election Day. Just what we need.

Meanwhile, the election looms. Depending on the results, over the few days following the election we may see anything from business as usual to widespread violent civil unrest in the cities. If Clinton “wins”, I would expect little to no violence; if Trump wins, all bets are off. But the main point is that no matter which of the candidates is declared the winner, half the country will not accept the results. If it’s Trump declared winner, the progs, BLMers, and so on may be out in force, looting and burning. If it’s Clinton, things will be calmer in the short term, but don’t discount the burning resentment present in tens of millions of well-armed Trump supporters. No matter what happens on Tuesday, we’ll all wake up Wednesday morning to a very dangerous situation. Either way, it won’t take much to blow the lid off. We’re about as ready as we can be here to hunker down and watch the game. Are you ready wherever you are?

In terms of last-minute preps, Barbara is picking up some food at Costco today if she has time to make the stop. She’ll fill her gas tank when she gets back up to Sparta. Mine is already full. I have 15 more pounds of pasta and egg noodles on order with Walmart, which is due to arrive Monday. I also have a 400W off-grid solar power starter kit on order from Amazon, also due to arrive Monday. Other than that, we’ll just sit back and watch what happens next week.


Tuesday, 1 November 2016

09:35 – Déjà vu all over again. Except this time it’s different. At least one and possibly both of the Colonial Pipeline pipes was damaged yesterday by an explosion and fire. That’s 100+ million gallons of fuel per day that won’t be making it to the East Coast for an indefinite period. No word yet on how long it will take to repair the lines, but my guess is it’ll be a lot longer than last time. Rather than just having to deal with a fractured line and a large pool of gasoline, this time they’ll have to deal with the aftermath of an explosion and fire.

Fuel progresses through the pipelines at a walking pace, which means it takes a week or ten days to get from the site of the break to the Colonial tank farm in Greensboro. So that’s the good news. We have another ten days’ worth of fuel that’s still in transit. The bad news is that that’s all we’ll get for some time to come. When the pipeline broke on September 9th, the news didn’t hit the media for ten days. During that time, people were filling their tanks normally. By the time most people became aware of what had happened, repairs were underway. Panic buying starting on September 19th and 20th quickly caused big fuel shortages, but it was only a week or so before supplies resumed.

This time, it may be a lot different. The 100+ million gallons/day that the pipeline delivers is a lot of fuel, but only when consumption is normal. When people realize there’s a problem, the panic buying starts. Instead of waiting until they’re down to a quarter tank before filling up, as most people usually do, everyone rushes out to fill their tanks, and gas stations quickly run dry. Panic breeds more panic, so the new norm becomes to keep your tank as full as possible. When people see an open gas station, they get in line even if they’re nearly full already. There’s no way the distribution system can deal with this kind of volume even with the pipeline running at full capacity.

Right now, we’re in the calm before the storm. Supplies aren’t yet restricted. Prices are going up and will continue to do so, but gasoline remains available, as it will for the next few days. As the pipeline runs dry, more and more gas stations will be unable to get gas, and panic buying will start occurring in spades. My advice is to get ahead of the curve. Panic-buy today, regardless of price. It’ll cost more tomorrow, and much more next week. Minimize your driving. Car pool to work. Put off any long trips you have scheduled, at least until the supply situation clears up.

Barbara is scheduled to drive down to Winston on Thursday to spend the day running errands. We’ll keep an eye on the situation. It takes only four or five gallons of gas for Barbara to get down to Winston and back, but depending on the developing situation it may turn out that we’d be better off rescheduling that trip.


Thursday, 13 October 2016

09:00 – Barbara is due back from Winston sometime this afternoon. Colin and I can’t wait. She’s making a small Costco run on her way back to pick up mostly cold stuff like meat. The only LTS food I asked her to pick up was several 3.25-pound boxes of OreIda instant mashed potatoes. Yesterday I transferred what remained of the 3.25-pound box we’d just opened to 1.75-liter Tropicana orange juice bottles, ending up with one very full bottle and one very partial bottle.

For the last couple of months I’ve been expecting Trump to make a statement on healthcare. Something like:

If you like your Obamacare, you can keep your Obamacare. However, we will repeal the individual mandate and the employer mandate, so no one will be forced to pay for health insurance they don’t want. Nor will the federal government pay any portion of the cost, so whatever coverage you choose you must pay for out of your own pocket. Nor will the government force any insurer to cover any particular person or condition or to provide any particular benefit, which means coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, if available, will be extremely expensive.

It’s definitely autumn here. Cool days and nights down in the 30’s (~ 2 or 3C). We decided yesterday that the new driveway had had sufficient time to cure, so we removed the orange warning tape that had been blocking the drive and pulled the vehicles back into the garage. As I was standing out at the street end of the drive looking toward the house, it looked vaguely familiar. Then I realized that it was about the size of a standard singles tennis court, which I spent plenty of time on when I was in my teens and 20’s. A standard singles court is 27 feet wide by 78 feet long, with 21 feet between the baseline and the fence at each end, for a total of 120 feet. I got out the tape measure and measured the new drive. Sure enough, it was 25 feet wide and about 126 feet long. Now the only thing we need is fences and a net.

Being a serve-and-volley player with an overwhelming serve, I always loved fast surfaces. My absolute favorite surface was polished hardwood, because the speed and low bounce of the surface meant I served clean aces more often than not. My next favorite was grass, which was almost but not quite as fast as wood, and didn’t provide a much higher bounce than wood. My third favorite was concrete like we just had installed. It was a noticeably slower surface than wood or grass, but still much faster than Har-Tru or similar grippy hard court (green/blue/red) surfaces, and immensely faster than clay. And it had a very high bounce, usually higher than the net, which meant I could use a full Western grip off both sides and hit full-power flat ground strokes, and approach shots didn’t need to be chipped.


For future reference:

o A 1.75 liter Tropicana orange juice bottle holds at most 1 pound 15.4 ounces of Ore-Ida instant potato flakes if you tap it well to pack it down.


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

09:32 – Barbara is leaving mid-afternoon to head down to Winston. She’s staying at her sister’s house tonight and heading home tomorrow afternoon after running errands. It’ll be wild women and parties for Colin and me. Or it would be, except that Lori, our USPS carrier and fellow prepper, keeps an eye on us when Barbara’s away.

One of Barbara’s friends from the historical society volunteers is just in the process of moving to Sparta from New Jersey. Her husband’s family is originally from Sparta, and she and her husband have actually owned a home here for years. She’s semi-retired from teaching and her husband is retiring, so they decided to relocate here. They have a son, aged 15, and a college-age daughter. They’re doing the same back-and-forth that Barbara and I did, trying to get the Sparta house ready to move into and their house in New Jersey ready to sell. The difference is that instead of it being 60 miles between their old house and the new one, as it was for Barbara and me, it’s almost ten times that far to New Jersey. Right now, she’s living here, camping out in one room, while her husband is living in New Jersey, taking care of stuff there.

She dropped by our house yesterday and visited for an hour or two. Barbara of course gave her a tour of the house. After she’d left, I asked Barbara if she’d showed her our food storage areas downstairs. She had, and of course Barbara got the usual comment about how if things turned bad they’d show up at our door. Barbara said she’d also said that her husband wanted to build their food storage and so on, so it sounds as though we’ll be getting to know another family of preppers. The husband and son are also shooters, and the son is excited about getting started hunting down here.


For future reference:

o A 3-liter soft drink bottle can hold 5 pounds plus an ounce or two of white flour if you tap it well to pack it down.

o A 1.75 liter Tropicana orange juice bottle can hold 3 pounds plus an ounce or two of corn meal if you tap it well to pack it down.


Friday, 23 September 2016

08:59 – Barbara has posted a report on her trip up to Cape May, New Jersey. She got home yesterday morning about 9:15 a.m., after spending the preceding night at Al’s and Frances’ house in Winston. Colin and I were both delighted to see her return home. In an embarrassing watch-dog moment, the first either of us knew Barbara was home was when she opened the door from the garage and shouted, “Did I sneak up on you?” Colin hadn’t heard her car coming in the drive and pulling into the garage, or even the sound of the garage door going up and coming down.

When I first heard that Charlotte authorities weren’t releasing the video of the shooting, my first thought was that the video must not support their claim that the guy they shot was armed and brandishing his weapon. From reports this morning, it appears that that is in fact the case. Both the Charlotte police chief and mayor have tacitly admitted that the video does not prove their version of what happened. I don’t really doubt they’re telling the truth, but the lack of video evidence is unfortunate. Of course, even if the cops had knowingly shot down an unarmed man, that would not excuse the rioting. There’s never an excuse for rioting.

And I see that Glenn Reynolds over at Instapundit is now in trouble. It started with a tweet he made concerning a woman whose truck was blocked by rioters, who then broke into the back and looted the contents. There’s no doubt that this woman was reasonably in fear for her life. Reynolds tweeted, “Run them down”, which was good advice for anyone faced with such a situation. But the progs were predictably outraged, claiming that Reynolds was advocating going out and running down “protesters” at random. Twitter, who are in fact a bunch of twits, suspended Reynolds’ account, he’s now in trouble with the law school where he’s a professor, and USA Today has suspended his column for a month and required him to post an apology. An apology for what? Giving good advice for anyone driving when a riot breaks out and rioters block their escape?


11:24 – If you’ve just been thinking about laying in some supplies in case things get bad, now would be a very good time to get off your ass and actually do something about it.

The problem with a lot of people is that humans are very good at adapting to a new normal. If you took normal people twenty years ago and magically plopped them down into today’s environment, they’d be horrified at what’s going on. But it’s the old frog-boiling thing. Most people see another riot and just tacitly accept it as the new normal. But it’s not normal, not even close, and it really is time to get off your ass and make some preparations for bad times to come. Yes, there will be quieter times interspersed with the outrages, but the general trend is downward. You need to be in a position to feed and protect your family. Do it now.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

09:00 – More rioting in Charlotte overnight. You know things are serious when the governor calls out the National Guard. Charlotte is just the latest big city to experience underclass scum rioting. I’m afraid we can expect more of the same in other cities, and we can expect it to become a regular thing. Eventually, I expect rioting to become a regular thing in big cities and to start becoming common in mid-size cities like Winston-Salem. And, if nothing is done to stop it, I expect rioting to shift from occurring just in the city of the week to occurring simultaneously in cities across the country.

Unfortunately, the federal government sides with the rioters, which means there isn’t much the cities can do to stamp out this plague. Killing rioters by the hundreds or thousands would work, but there’s no way the federal government would tolerate the cops actually doing their jobs, because that would involve shooting Democrat voters. The only alternative I see is for city police departments to walk away from the inner cities, concentrate on protecting the surrounding suburbs, and allow the scum to loot and burn freely in the inner cities. That’d obviously be hard on the relatively small number of decent people who live in the inner cities, but what other option is there? Cops, firemen, paramedics, and other emergency personnel are already loathe to work inner city areas. How much longer will be it before they simply refuse to continue risking their lives by doing so?

Barbara returns home today. Colin and I can’t wait.


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

09:47 – I see the underclass scum in Charlotte spent the evening rioting, looting, and burning. They even shut down a segment of I-85. No cops dead, but a bunch hurt. As usual, the cops were allowed only tear gas to fight these scum. Whatever happened to 12-gauge buckshot? They call a short-barrel 12-gauge shotgun a “riot gun” for a reason. Anyone can tell the difference between a peaceful protest and a riot. In the former, groups of people are marching around holding signs and shouting slogans. In the latter, groups of people are throwing bricks or shooting at cops, destroying police cars, breaking windows, looting, and starting fires. The former is Constitutionally-protected Free Speech, and should be not just tolerated but encouraged. The latter is a bunch of violent felons destroying property, looting, and endangering innocent civilians, and should be dealt with using lethal force. And what if the former turns into the latter? If you’re a peaceful protester, get the hell away from that riot, as quickly as possible. As Larry Niven famously advised: “Don’t throw shit at an armed man. Don’t stand next to someone who’s throwing shit at an armed man.”

What I’d like to see the next time there’s such a riot–any time there’s such a riot–is for the cops to cut loose with their riot guns and keep shooting until all of the rioters are dead or have fled. A hundred dead scum bags, or a thousand, would serve as a wakeup call for these scum bags, pour le découragement des autres. And it would be, as they say, No Great Loss.

Barbara is due back sometime tomorrow. Colin and I can’t wait. The gasoline situation is starting to resolve itself, although there are likely to be shortages in North Carolina and other affected states for at least the rest of this month and probably into the first part of October. There’s a Beroth Oil tanker truck in the parking lot of the 4 Brothers/Liberty across the road right now, although they still have the pumps blocked off. There’s also a lot more traffic out on US-21 and on our road than there’s been for the last few days. Things appear to be gradually getting back to normal, but I hope people remember this event and take it as a warning of the same or worse to come.

I’m spending today making up chemicals, printing labels, and so on for more forensic kits. We have a pending bulk order for those from a large school district, and we’re down to fewer than a dozen in stock. Tomorrow and Friday will be occupied by building more.

I put in a small order with WalMart.com on Monday, including 32 standard-size cans of chili beans, two one-gallon jugs of pancake syrup, ten pounds of yellow corn meal, a 5.5-ounce jar of cumin, and one 22-ounce test jar each of Prego alfredo sauce and Prego roasted garlic alfredo sauce.

Email from Jen this morning, with a telling observation. With riots, bombings, and shootings continuously in the news lately, Jen says she’s changed her former practice. It used to be that when she heard news of such an event she’d go down to the basement and do an inventory of their preps to decide what they needed to add. Now, she says, this stuff happens so often that there’s no point to doing that because she’d be down there every day counting stuff that she’d just counted.


Monday, 19 September 2016

09:18 – Barbara filled her gas tank yesterday morning, and will fill it again if she starts to see lines at gas stations or any other indication that fuel may be hard to come by. With the spate of bombings and attempted bombings in the NYC and NJ area, it’s unclear just what’s going on. She’ll be back Thursday. Colin and I can’t wait.

I’ve always favored proportional response, so it seems to me that we should trade them bomb for bomb. Any time musloid terrorists detonate one bomb in the US, we should respond by detonating one nuke over a musloid city, starting with Mecca. Tit for tat.

Colin and I ate dinner from long-term storage again last night: ground beef Stroganoff over rice. Tonight we’ll have a chicken pasta casserole. We’re finding that it’s not all that difficult to make tasty meals from long-term food storage, but it’s important to actually make those meals during normal times rather than just stocking up on what you think you’ll need. To get started, I’ll again recommend buying a copy of Jan Jackson’s 100 Day Pantry and trying out some of the recipes. And visit websites like Jamie Cooks It Up for more recipe ideas that use LTS foods.

One item that’s often overlooked in designing an LTS food plan is keeping the protein balanced. Grains provide a significant amount of protein, but the amino acid profile of that protein is unbalanced. One can literally starve to death eating only grains, even if you’re otherwise getting plenty of protein. The problem is the essential amino acids that are absent or present only in inadequate amounts in grain protein. You can supplement that with animal proteins, which are relatively expensive, but you can also supplement it with bean/legume proteins, which have the amino acids that are lacking in grain proteins. We store what most people would consider a lot of canned animal proteins, mostly chicken and ground beef, but we also store a lot of beans. Those two can also be combined in various recipes like chili, which include meat and/or TVP for flavor and beans for the bulk of the protein. Incidentally, the amino acid profile of beans is also unbalanced, so you can’t survive on just beans. You also need the grains to balance the protein there.

Another mistake that many people make in designing their LTS food plan is basing quantities on current consumption. In a long-term emergency, your food consumption pattern will change, probably a great deal. No more restaurant meals, convenience foods, ordering take-out, pizza deliveries, snacks from vending machines, etc. And you will probably end up eating much more of some items than you do during normal times. For example, Barbara and I both like pancakes, but we don’t have them very often because it takes longer than just cooking fresh foods and it makes a mess of the kitchen. But in a long-term emergency, we’d certainly be eating more pancakes–many more–and we need to plan quantities accordingly.

For example, when Barbara looks at a 10-pound bag of Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix, she sees enough pancake mix to last the two of us a year or more. Same thing the other day when we ran out of pancake syrup and I opened another gallon.

But in a long term emergency, things change big-time. Instead of feeding just Barbara and me, we may be feeding Frances and Al, not to mention Colin. That means we’d need maybe 2.5 times as much pancake mix and syrup as we normally use. And instead of having pancakes maybe once every three weeks, we might be having them two or three times a week. And the pancakes would make up a much higher percentage of those meals’ nutrition because we might be serving them alone instead of with bacon and eggs or whatever. That means that what looks to Barbara like a year’s supply of pancakes may actually last us only a week or two in a serious emergency. And we need to stock accordingly, if not specifically Krusteaz pancake mix, at least the flour, egg powder, oil, and other items needed to make pancakes from scratch.


10:51 – Things have turned very bad very quickly in Sparta. Lori just delivered the mail and told me that she may not be able to run her route tomorrow because she’s low on fuel and all of the gas stations in the county are out of gas. I thought USPS would have its own fueling point, but apparently not. I immediately called Barbara and let her know what was going on. Gas stations in New Jersey are still open, and the guy told her yesterday when she filled up that they didn’t expect to be impacted until late this week. She’s going to take the ferry across the bay, which will save her about four hours of driving. She thinks she can get home on the full tank. I told her to fill up at every opportunity on the way home, even if she’s down only a gallon or two and regardless of price, and that if she does run out of gas to call me and I’ll come get her. I have about 22 gallons in the Trooper, which should give me at least 350 miles of range with some reserve if I drive at optimum speed. That means that as long as she can make it to within 200 miles or so of home that I can go get her.

I thought when I originally read about the pipeline problem that things were probably worse than they were admitting, and it looks like I was right. USPS being unable to deliver could be life-threatening for folks who get critical medications by mail. I just hope the supply situation is remedied soon. Once Barbara gets home, we can hunker down and await developments, but a lot of people are going to be seriously inconvenienced by this. If it goes on a few more days, a lot of businesses will have problems because key people can’t get to work. I hope that transportation will be okay for now with what diesel stocks they have or can obtain, but I’d guess that in a week or ten days transportation might start winding down. Let’s hope the pipeline is fixed before that.