How's the weather? v. 1.1

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Warren
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by Warren »

And now the electric co-op is threatening rolling blackouts because of the extra load on the grid.
We have electric heat. And only electric heat.
fuuuuuuuuu
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by Pham Nuwen »

D.A. Ridgely wrote: 15 Feb 2021, 23:50
Jennifer wrote: 15 Feb 2021, 21:49 There was snow on the beach in freaking Galveston today. Sticking snow, not the kind that just melts on contact with the ground.
Yep. It may be the first time in Texas history that all 254 counties, the entire state, was under a winter storm alert. And Texans do not know how to deal with snow.
Somewhere in Texas there are survivalists who are stocked up on guns, ammo, water, and food. But they are powerless because they do not own snow shovels.
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by Hugh Akston »

Pham Nuwen wrote: 16 Feb 2021, 12:12
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 15 Feb 2021, 23:50
Jennifer wrote: 15 Feb 2021, 21:49 There was snow on the beach in freaking Galveston today. Sticking snow, not the kind that just melts on contact with the ground.
Yep. It may be the first time in Texas history that all 254 counties, the entire state, was under a winter storm alert. And Texans do not know how to deal with snow.
Somewhere in Texas there are survivalists who are stocked up on guns, ammo, water, and food. But they are powerless because they do not own snow shovels.
Solid
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Eric the .5b
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by Eric the .5b »

I know for a fact that all the Best Buys around here have a snow shovel apiece (for their use, not for sale). Comes of being run by midwesterners.

I assume serious survivalists already had wood-burning stoves and aren't just frozen among their supplies. But who know?

I admit "extreme cold weather without power" hasn't been part of my emergency plans. I've mostly planned for hurricanes.
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by Aresen »

All of you suffering from the mid-continent cold snap have my sympathies. Cold is very hard to handle, especially when you are not used to it. Wishing you all the best.

The only advice I can offer is: Multiple thin layers of clothing keeps you warmer than a single thick layer.
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by Jennifer »

General-purpose reminder, for people who don't have a fireplace or other home infrastructure capable of generating heat without modern tech and utilities: after the storm, when things return to normal and stores are fully stocked, find either an IKEA or another store that sells metal-cup tealight candles in bulk. I still have most of the 1,300 or 1,400-count stockpile I bought [more precisely, I had Jeff buy on his way home from work] at the Connecticut IKEA in 2011, after that early winter blizzard killed electricity for more than half the state, and we were in the dark for six days. (Granted, my situation then was not as dire as what I suspect most Texans are facing now: my apartment building was built for the cold, with insulated outer walls nearly a foot thick; more importantly, the daytime temperatures after the blizzard were a bit above freezing and the nights "only" dropped into the 20s.)

At that time, IKEA sold shrink-wrapped "bricks" of 100 tealight candles for $4 -- only 4 cents per candle. I'm sure it's likely gone up to 5 or 6 cents per candle by now. And a typical IKEA tealight burned for about four hours. [Walmart later stated selling 100-count tealight candles, but the candles themselves are thinner than IKEA's -- shallower cups holding less wax. I don't know exactly how long such a Walmart tealight would burn, but to play it same I would conservatively estimate "2 hours."]

During our week without power, I had anywhere from 50 to 60 candle-flames burning at once [a standard-size oil lamp is roughly 5 candle-flames] -- some tealights, but also votives and tapers and oil candles and all kinds of stuff I had not for winter emergencies, but as leftovers from my dramatic Goth days. With 50 or 60 candles burning, and the bedroom doors closed, I was able to get my apartment's common areas -- the big kitchen, big living room, and bathroom/laundry room -- up to the mid-60s at night, even when it was in the 20s outdoors. (I did NOT have any candles burning when we went to bed, of course.)

By the time the power finally came back on I was almost out of candles and lamp oil, and I restocked my supply exclusively from IKEA's tealights because, if you MUST use candles not just for mood lighting but as an actual no-shit heat source, using tealight candles, each in their own disposable little metal cup, and those cups kept in a label-less metal coffee can or on/in some other fireproof surface, is the least-unsafe option. Of course, Jeff and I don't have pets, small children or other household members who can't be trusted to behave safely around lots and lots of little fires.

Those 13 or 14 hundred IKEA tealight candles mostly fit neatly into a single 18-gallon plastic storage tub; I might have a couple bricks' worth scattered between Jeff's in-car winter emergency kit, and a couple household storage spots.
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by Kolohe »

Pham Nuwen wrote: 16 Feb 2021, 12:12
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 15 Feb 2021, 23:50
Jennifer wrote: 15 Feb 2021, 21:49 There was snow on the beach in freaking Galveston today. Sticking snow, not the kind that just melts on contact with the ground.
Yep. It may be the first time in Texas history that all 254 counties, the entire state, was under a winter storm alert. And Texans do not know how to deal with snow.
Somewhere in Texas there are survivalists who are stocked up on guns, ammo, water, and food. But they are powerless because they do not own snow shovels.
They were powerless because they did not own a can opener.


their plan for cooking and heating during an extended power outage was natural gas, but like a lot of homes their gas service is out. the food in their freezer and fridge is already toast due to the power outrages, so they're down to canned stuff, but there's a catch.
they can get into the pull top cans just fine, but the ones that require an opener? their only can opener is electric. so a good 3/4 of his canned food store is inaccessible to him unless he goes after it with a knife, which i sincerely hope he does.

so captain survival was eating unheated ravioli out of a can yesterday because i guess he doesn't know how to start a fire? they have a fire pit but it too is gas fired.

he told my mom they're probably going to break into the survival buckets soon. i'm sure that's great food.
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by Eric the .5b »

I was actually debating that thread with my friend Alex a minute ago. He rather strongly disbelieved that a group of anybody would not have one person who thought to bring a mechanical can-opener along with them or know how to start a fire. (Mind, his thinking for "survival" starts with "can opener and matches", not AR-15s.)

I've countered that if these are people who actually bought overpriced survival food buckets (which are a huge price premium over the foods included if bought separately), they may in fact just be that stupid or lazy.
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by Ellie »

Pham Nuwen wrote: 16 Feb 2021, 12:12
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 15 Feb 2021, 23:50
Jennifer wrote: 15 Feb 2021, 21:49 There was snow on the beach in freaking Galveston today. Sticking snow, not the kind that just melts on contact with the ground.
Yep. It may be the first time in Texas history that all 254 counties, the entire state, was under a winter storm alert. And Texans do not know how to deal with snow.
Somewhere in Texas there are survivalists who are stocked up on guns, ammo, water, and food. But they are powerless because they do not own snow shovels.
Or can openers apparently

(thread)

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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by Jennifer »

{Snicker} I'm not a hardcore "prepper" by any means -- I am fairly well prepared for various temporary, localized losses of modern conveniences and utilities, but have zero plans or preps to outlast modern civilization collapsing outright (my post-apocalyptic bug-out spot is safe inside the digestive system of a wolf) -- but I have at least two manual can openers** AND a little folding Sterno stove plus some ethanol-gel chafing-dish cans, which are not hot enough to do proper "cooking" but will at least heat up a can of Chef Boyardee or corned-beef hash. (I also have some disposable aluminum chafing or baking dishes in various sizes, which I use as disposable saucepans to heat up canned goods in power/hot water outages. Back during that powerless week in 2011, I discovered it takes exactly two days for me to become thoroughly sick of a canned heat-n-serve diet, even when the food is well-heated.)

**By the way, does "I don't even own an electric can opener" have the same annoying reverse-snob cachet as "I don't even own a television?" Because it's true that I don't own an electric can opener, because when I had one, it always held the can a bit crooked and so a little bit of the juice or sauce or whatever always dripped out. So I found it easier and less messy to use a well-made manual can opener -- not one of those flimsy models with the skinny bare-metal handles, but a good one with ergonomic grips -- and when our old electric can opener finally bit the dust Jeff didn't bother replacing it.
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Funny story; I don't believe it. Swiss Army knives, ferchristsakes, have a can opener. You're stocking canned food? Okay, some people really are stupid as shit, but I find it impossible to believe that no one said, um, hey, how about a can opener and, you know, maybe some matches?
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by Jennifer »

D.A. Ridgely wrote: 16 Feb 2021, 21:20 Funny story; I don't believe it. Swiss Army knives, ferchristsakes, have a can opener. You're stocking canned food? Okay, some people really are stupid as shit, but I find it impossible to believe that no one said, um, hey, how about a can opener and, you know, maybe some matches?
You would be surprised ... not even by "how stupid can some people be," but how even otherwise smart people can completely overlook some tiny thing which they totally take for granted until it's gone. Especially people who never had to deal with an extended vital-utility outage before.

I remember about halfway through my powerless week in Cconnecticut, I was at a near-ish Target that was open on generator power (but the frozen, refrigerated and hot-food sections were completely empty of merchandise, and only something like one out of every three or four of the overhead lights were turned on). The checkout lines were long so people got to making small talk with each other; the man in line in front of me had two wheeled shopping carts, both chockful of nothing but gallon jugs of water, which I asked him about -- had there been a boil-water advisory I hadn't heard of, perhaps? And he said no; he lived in [nearby rural-ish rich town] and had well water rather than city water, and his well ran on electricity so he had no running water at all. I don't think he was a stupid man; he just overlooked something he'd never had to think about before.

Of course, I also doubt that guy self-identified as someone prepped for the apocalypse unlike the majority of sheeple.
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

The guy who retweeted this says that the author is the mayor of Colorado City, TX. I didn't bother to check. Maybe this is his reelection campaign kickoff? Then the guy who retweeted it went off on his own rant about how it's the fault of the Texas electricity market (obviously false) and Texas's attempt to be energy independent (true).

Image
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by Ellie »

"It's not the local government's responsibility to support you when they fail to provide the thing they aggressively, legally, prohibit you from getting from any other provider" is, um, an interesting take.
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Ellie wrote: 16 Feb 2021, 22:28 "It's not the local government's responsibility to support you when they fail to provide the thing they aggressively, legally, prohibit you from getting from any other provider" is, um, an interesting take.
But not much of a take in Texas. The state's purported desire to be energy independent of border states and, of course, the federal government, is dumb and actually anti-market, but inside the state there is a fairly robust market for electricity. There hasn't been a cold snap of this magnitude in Texas since, or so I'm told, the 19th century; so, you know, freeze me once, shame on you, freeze me twice, shame on me.

Anyway, I'm toying with getting solar panels for the roof because we're close to needing a new roof anyway and, if we do that, then getting one of those Tesla house batteries.
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by Kolohe »

Fwiw I’ve heard that the guy resigned from the job shortly after the post went viral
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by Warren »

D.A. Ridgely wrote: 16 Feb 2021, 21:20 Funny story; I don't believe it. Swiss Army knives, ferchristsakes, have a can opener. You're stocking canned food? Okay, some people really are stupid as shit, but I find it impossible to believe that no one said, um, hey, how about a can opener and, you know, maybe some matches?
Yeah, no shit. There are exactly zero preppers that don't have fint & steel, and a p-38 on a chain.
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by fyodor »

Regarding that ex-mayor quote, I came back here to see if that was being discussed here. Folks on my feed are verily making hay out of this AND supposedly that he's a libertarian.

Makes me think this is how Muslims feel when their crazies get the headlines.
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by fyodor »

D.A. Ridgely wrote: 16 Feb 2021, 22:46 The state's purported desire to be energy independent of border states and, of course, the federal government, is dumb and actually anti-market
FWIW, I'm seeing the claim that their *reason* for being independent was to evade federal regulation. Could that constitute a net-pro-market tradeoff?
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

fyodor wrote: 17 Feb 2021, 12:17
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 16 Feb 2021, 22:46 The state's purported desire to be energy independent of border states and, of course, the federal government, is dumb and actually anti-market
FWIW, I'm seeing the claim that their *reason* for being independent was to evade federal regulation. Could that constitute a net-pro-market tradeoff?
Doubtlessly that 'reason' was a factor, but, you know, they're not above buying out-of-state water during droughts, using Interstate Highways, operating international airports, etc. I don't know how onerous federal regulation of electricity is, but I can't say I've ever heard the feds being blamed for service or pricing except the TVA and such. But being anti-federal is always good for some political points in Texas, whether based in reality or not.

Mostly, Texas has a shitload of fossil energy and thus believe, correctly, it can produce all the electricity the state needs absent this sort of so-far highly abnormal weather. After a few hurricanes, the state relented in doing whatever was necessary to keep the grid as safe as possible during such storms. Everyone is pointing fingers and politicians are grinding axes and lying but, hey, if the power grid was taken out by a meteoroid, I'd be hard pressed to blame either the private or public sector for not adequately preparing for such an occurrence.
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by lunchstealer »

D.A. Ridgely wrote: 17 Feb 2021, 12:33
fyodor wrote: 17 Feb 2021, 12:17
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 16 Feb 2021, 22:46 The state's purported desire to be energy independent of border states and, of course, the federal government, is dumb and actually anti-market
FWIW, I'm seeing the claim that their *reason* for being independent was to evade federal regulation. Could that constitute a net-pro-market tradeoff?
Doubtlessly that 'reason' was a factor, but, you know, they're not above buying out-of-state water during droughts, using Interstate Highways, operating international airports, etc. I don't know how onerous federal regulation of electricity is, but I can't say I've ever heard the feds being blamed for service or pricing except the TVA and such. But being anti-federal is always good for some political points in Texas, whether based in reality or not.

Mostly, Texas has a shitload of fossil energy and thus believe, correctly, it can produce all the electricity the state needs absent this sort of so-far highly abnormal weather. After a few hurricanes, the state relented in doing whatever was necessary to keep the grid as safe as possible during such storms. Everyone is pointing fingers and politicians are grinding axes and lying but, hey, if the power grid was taken out by a meteoroid, I'd be hard pressed to blame either the private or public sector for not adequately preparing for such an occurrence.
A friend in the industry has reported that it was a TX government decision not to put defrosters on the wind turbines because it was a waste of money, and now all the people who voted for them are like SEE WIND TURBINES FREEZE IN BAD WEATHER LOL STUPID LIBS. I get that this is a rare event but it's hardly an unprecedented event in neighboring states.

Same friend has concerns about how long it's going to take to get plants back up and reconnected to the grid.
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

lunchstealer wrote: 17 Feb 2021, 12:45
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 17 Feb 2021, 12:33
fyodor wrote: 17 Feb 2021, 12:17
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 16 Feb 2021, 22:46 The state's purported desire to be energy independent of border states and, of course, the federal government, is dumb and actually anti-market
FWIW, I'm seeing the claim that their *reason* for being independent was to evade federal regulation. Could that constitute a net-pro-market tradeoff?
Doubtlessly that 'reason' was a factor, but, you know, they're not above buying out-of-state water during droughts, using Interstate Highways, operating international airports, etc. I don't know how onerous federal regulation of electricity is, but I can't say I've ever heard the feds being blamed for service or pricing except the TVA and such. But being anti-federal is always good for some political points in Texas, whether based in reality or not.

Mostly, Texas has a shitload of fossil energy and thus believe, correctly, it can produce all the electricity the state needs absent this sort of so-far highly abnormal weather. After a few hurricanes, the state relented in doing whatever was necessary to keep the grid as safe as possible during such storms. Everyone is pointing fingers and politicians are grinding axes and lying but, hey, if the power grid was taken out by a meteoroid, I'd be hard pressed to blame either the private or public sector for not adequately preparing for such an occurrence.
A friend in the industry has reported that it was a TX government decision not to put defrosters on the wind turbines because it was a waste of money, and now all the people who voted for them are like SEE WIND TURBINES FREEZE IN BAD WEATHER LOL STUPID LIBS. I get that this is a rare event but it's hardly an unprecedented event in neighboring states.

Same friend has concerns about how long it's going to take to get plants back up and reconnected to the grid.
Sure. I'm not saying there's no human culpability here; I'm just trying to put it into perspective. Texans like low taxes and cheap power. So far most of the time that's worked out for them and, frankly, as soon as the weather warms up they'll still be demanding low taxes and cheap power. Texans also put up with miserable public schools year after year, decade after decade but the public doesn't give a damn. Does the high school need a new $50 million football stadium? No problem.

I'm told that when the Army Corps of Engineers were building levees around New Orleans they offered different levels of protection against different levels of hurricane threat. Getting 99% probable safety is much more expensive than getting 90% probable safety and the powers that be opted for the cheaper construction. Then came Katrina. How many Americans, let alone Texans, are willing to pay the price differential for 99% versus 90%? Damned few until the proverbial shit hits the fan and far fewer than necessary for a mandate even after it happens.

Conservatives even in Texas are eventually going to be dragged kicking and screaming into acknowledging AGW and its yearly effects and then maybe a real conversation can start about what should be done. But everyone, including liberals, are going to balk at the price tag, especially when confronted with the realities that the U.S. isn't the major AGW culprit, that electric cars are nice but they basically run on fossil fuels one step removed and that if people like me would only give up steak and go vegan we could make a dent in methane and blah, blah, blah.

Finally, um, how to put this? The politics and the failed infrastructure maintenance and such aside, how many homeless people die from exposure every winter in, well, Denver and anywhere else where there are real winters every winter? We're getting all these editorials right now expressing outrage because "lives are at stake" but the fact is that whose lives are at stake is what's driving that outrage. Yes, Texans have a legitimate bitch, though not as big a one as they currently believe, against both state government and private electric companies and some heads should roll. But this is still a middle class crisis and a temporary one, at that. There will be a huge investigation, more fingers will be pointed, someone will price out the fix and the status will quickly revert to quo.

I guess that's easy for me to say because we haven't lost power, but if we had lost power for some indefinite period of time we would have winter-proofed the house as well as possible, loaded up the car and headed for somewhere with electricity or somewhere with warm weather or, well, somewhere else, anyway, as I suspect most people on this board would do. *shrug*
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by Jennifer »

D.A. Ridgely wrote: 17 Feb 2021, 13:15 I guess that's easy for me to say because we haven't lost power, but if we had lost power for some indefinite period of time we would have winter-proofed the house as well as possible, loaded up the car and headed for somewhere with electricity or somewhere with warm weather or, well, somewhere else, anyway, as I suspect most people on this board would do. *shrug*
Based on some horrible things I've seen on Twitter (e.g. a high-rise apartment complex in Dallas -- what looks like an expensive complex -- basically shooting waterfalls off all its balconies due to frozen pipes; ditto for a Hilton hotel in the neighborhood) -- even a lot of people who have the money to do it CAN'T leave home and drive someplace warmer, because the roads are impassable too.

I wonder how much the cost of cold-proofing the Texas power infrastructure compares to the cost of repairing all of THAT damage.

(I almost have the admire the GOP's consistent loyalty to dishonesty, though -- Republicans have run the state since forever, but it's the Democrats and the [still non-existent] Green New Deal that's to blame for the catastrophic power failures in Texas. And California wildfires were "just bad forest management," and covid was "just the flu" and the January 6 insurrection was either "just a peaceful protest" or "the only violence came from antifa agents provocateur" ... no matter what the crisis, the GOP can be relied upon to ignore the cause and kick a scapegoat instead.)
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by Jennifer »

I hope Eric and his mom are okay.
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Re: How's the weather? v. 1.1

Post by fyodor »

Even if it's no big freaking deal in the cosmic scheme of things, it sure seems bad enough that I would very much want to say that whatever Texas may be doing to have brought it about (or shall I say allowed it to happen) I wouldn't want done where I'm living myself. If I couldn't figure out what that was specifically I'd be happy with well then don't do anything different Texas has done, that's different from what we do. Well, maybe unless you convinced me I was getting something out of it that was worth it...? Oh and the more it's the results of circumstances that no one could have foreseen then I just have to hope the equivalent is foreseen where I am, um, unless that's logically impossible? Haha...
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