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Monday, May 12, 2008

FAR Future, Episode 32: Thanksgiving in the Midst of Disaster

Friday, November 29, 2013
Thanksgiving in the Midst of Disaster

I really liked what the prez had to say about Thanksgiving this year: “Make sure your neighbor has something to be thankful for.” Even Shotgun Sam, who tries to parse anything from that direction and turn it into a negative, said he had to agree with that one. Not that his listeners can count on having enough electricity to tune in anyway. In fact, he said something to the effect that more people are now listening to the download version (he doesn’t like the word “podcast” for some reason) than on the air. Of course, the “download version” has all the commercials intact, although it’s not difficult to fast-forward through most of them.

People want to know why we’re back to the rolling blackouts, after a couple months of constant power. Like anyone else, we have grid electricity mostly at night now. After a nice warm October, those early Arctic blasts have already taken their toll — you can’t run a furnace without electricity, and natgas production is going the way of oil, so gas-fired power plants are only running at night trying to conserve natgas for heating. People are trying to keep warm through the day any way they can… unfortunately, some of those ways don’t always leave survivors. The conspiracy sites are printing “leaked reports” that the government is expecting the death toll to be in the thousands — maybe hundreds of thousands — and are suppressing the studies “to avoid panic.” Hell, not even the talking yaps are picking this one up, and they’re the first to “expose secret reports” that leak out, so they might be in on the cover-up too. (Or perhaps I need to steer clear of the conspiracy media for a while.) From what I’ve seen around the blogosphere and heard from the news, people are coping the best they can. On Planet Georgia, with a somewhat milder climate, I have to admit we’re doing more like OK than most… we have plenty of wood, we closed off the upstairs so we don’t have to heat that, and the windmill gives enough juice during the day for essentials like lights, refrigerator, and a computer or two. While the Atlanta TV stations are mostly running a 10am to 2am schedule now, Mrs. Fetched still has her TV when the wind’s blowing (which is most of the time during the winter).

Daughter Dearest is spending the week with us, and I got a “Double Nickel” birthday cake along with Thanksgiving dinner. Keeping the presidential appeal in mind, we went around to the neighbors and suggested a community Thanksgiving dinner at FAR Manor — bring it if you got it, and don’t worry about it if you don’t. I think everyone came, or at least sent a representative along with a dish. There was, as is usual with these potlucks, more than enough to go around — I think everyone took home enough leftovers for a couple of square meals. I made rolls, and they disappeared really quick. We barely had to run the wood stove, with all the people in the house. The neighbors who have been trading us goat milk for other stuff are trying to make cheese, and they brought some to the dinner. It’s… unique. Pretty good on a salad, though. We’re going to try mooshing some garlic and herbs into it to see how it works as a cracker spread.

The motorcycle shop asked me to give another talk about winter riding tomorrow, like I did last year. They want to sell more gear, sure, but if you have to get out you might as well save gas, right? It’s stuff everyone should already know about: if it’s 40F out, and you’re going 55mph, it feels like 25F. I show people a wind-chill chart, talk about the importance of knowing how much cold you can tolerate, how to block wind at highway speed, and what kind of accessories can help in below-freezing weather (which we’ve already had way too many mornings of this month). I got a $50 gift certificate for my spiel last year, so it’s not like I’m doing it for free.

Speaking of motorcycles, the Big Four are supposed to be introducing some new scooters designed with commuting in mind come spring: beefed-up electrical systems for heated clothing, detachable fairing components for different times of year, more cargo space, great gas mileage (the “city” models are all-electric), less maintenance… sounds heavenly. If the job holds up, and I’m starting to wonder if it will, I’ll seriously give one of those some thought.

Winter started early… all I can hope for is that it ends early.



  1. All things that we should be doing right now. Nice work, Far. Maybe we'll learn when gas gets to $8.00/gallon.

  2. Hello Far! Excellent! I sure like your idea about the pot lucks! I'll bet your rolls didn't last long!

    Did you happen to catch Gail's article on electricity on the drum? You bet, without power most people's basic need (shelter) of heat is gone. Anyway, there was a couple of personalities that responded with some very interesting comments... Please check this out. Another one who has left the country entirely! Ok, that's number three (that I know of) from this "think tank". Alot of talk behind the scenes......

    Also, I have about three pics to send ya, a perspective from India.

    I'll get back, "the Kid" is back for a couple days and has been on the pc with his lawyer.

    Thanks, yooper

  3. Hey all!

    Boran, thanks. Maybe I'm seeing what I'm looking for, but it seems to be that people have slowed down a bit on the freeway — I can go 65-70 (posted 65) without worrying about getting run over or tailgated. Still way too many guzzlers out there — SUVs and single-passenger minivans are like 40% of the fleet (ballpark figure) — maybe people will start carpooling before too long.

    Yooper, I saw the article but not the comments. I'll go have a look.

    Are those India pix showing big tangles of phone wires and the like? Someone sent me those with the comment, "This is the country where your DSL support calls go."

    Good luck with The Kid! Maybe we'll be free of our problem children sooner or later. Or not. :-)

  4. Hey Far! To make your search easier, check out cjworth's and especially BC_EE's comments. Gee, I think they pulled mine? Oh well, not to matter, I only thanked Gail, anyway. I think I posted a link to my site, maybe they don't like that. I almost never post there, aka The Raven.

    Yup, someone emailed the same photos to me. I'll just bet the situation isn't much better in China. Too rapid of growth.

    I'm wondering, could they "suppress" that kind of information, if 100's of thousands were expiring in the cold?

    Thanks, yooper

  5. Hey Yooper. I went & checked right away & saw your comments in that thread. Gail, a front-pager, thanked you for the link… so I can't imagine that posting that link would have got your posts yanked. You sure they just didn't get hidden? There like like 435 comments when I saw it.

    Could they suppress that? Probably not. But they could suppress reports that expected it. That kind of thing happens all the time… in fact, I think they classify information not to keep it from China or whoever, but to keep us from finding out.

  6. Hey Far, I look to Canada for providing power well into the future, as hydro generation needs very little maintance and could last well into hundreds of years... This was documented in the show, what would happen if we departed from earth.

    There is a vast amount of information out there, however some of this is "guarded" by certain societies and/or agencies. In order to have access to certain information one must join these "groups". Of course, in by doing so, there are rules to play by. So many times information that is "leaked" appears to be suppressed. ha!ha! got that?

    Thanks, yooper

  7. Hey Far, real quick here, gotta go, I will provide an example of what I'm talking about and further expand on this thought, later today.

  8. Hey Far, I'm back. Instead of boring you with details of the use of priviledged information, I'd like to discuss something else. Why do you think Gail only suggested that a electical ignition was required to start NG or propane devices? (I light my gas furnace with a match). Why did she not suggest that electrical current (fans, blowers, etc.) was required to move the heat coming from such a device?

    While you're thinking about that, think about this, if BC_EE's who he claims to be and done the things he claims he's done, what would that suggest to you? If the country went to him projecting a "thought exorcise" and they simply turned their backs on him, what would you do? Remember this guy could envision that the entire grid would be down for many weeks or months and it would take the entire military force of this country to bring it back on line. Sound familar? This can be found 3/4 of the way down on the page right after CJ's comment. This man no longer lives here and therefore is not obligated to play by the rules any longer... It took great courage to say what he did, I'll give him that! If one interconnection was down for a week, the unimaginable would begin. There is no way humanly possible to rescue that many people in time...

    I like the way BC_EE described the electrical grid being like a blanket while generating plants hold grips to this blanket. Our present situation requires 40% of our energy use to be converted into electricity and this rate is growing by the year.

    In the future, as these plants go down from lack of fuel (it's all or nothing! Not just cutting back, impossible to do that and hold the ever increasing load!)so will the entire grid! You said, you once owned a generator, you know that you cannot overload the unit or it will go down! Of course this is assuming the transmission lines, transfer stations, etc. are all operating correctly...

    There are those who believe this would be unlikely. Then there are those who only say this because they have been told to do so under the "rules of engagement". Sometimes there can be too much "review".

    It's my sincere hope that you consider this information, my friend.

    Thanks, yooper


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