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Thursday, August 30, 2007

FAR Future: Episode 8

I’ve gone out on a limb this time, in several ways. I also see where I’ll have to fill in some backstory sooner or later — but if I waited for it all to happen, it would be 2012 when I got around to posting. :-P

Thursday, August 30, 2012
Crossin’ the Line

Well, I’ve been saying it for a couple of years now, but the FCC finally agreed.

As expected, my Monday “off” was given to the chicken house. They took the last batch out at the beginning of July, and gave us the month off. Some places had 50% (or worse) die-offs when power started getting really flaky, so they figured it was probably best to just sit out July and bring a new batch in a few weeks ago. August is a good time to start a bunch, because they need that heat the first few weeks. By the time they start really producing their own heat, it will have cooled off enough that we won’t need to run fans constantly. The company wants to run a “split” house, where they close off half the house and stagger the flocks — they blow the hot air out of the side with older flock into the side with the younger flock. That knocks off like half the gas needed to keep the young side warm. But Mrs. Fetched has already told them we’re on our last year. Come May, we’re done (and there was MUCH rejoicing).

But I digress. We spent the morning dealing with the chickens, then did some gardening work, then I talked Mrs. Fetched into spending a couple hours at the creek. Just for grins, I grabbed the wind-up radio and took it with us — Shotgun Sam comes on at 3 and it’s been kind of fun to listen in lately. Not because he has anything intelligent to say (quite the contrary), but lately he’s starting to lose touch with his listeners and he gets frustrated pretty quick.

Sam must have figured gas rationing was going to be The Thing to keep the listeners stirred up, angry, and ready to do what his handlers want them to… and it just hasn’t worked that way, at least on Planet Georgia. People talk about their three-day weekends, using Sam’s show to hook up with a carpool, and mostly they couldn’t care less about rationing. I’ve been pleasantly surprised, I’ll have to admit. So this afternoon, Sam was delivering the usual talking points — rationing Bad, free market Good — and took a caller.

“Hey Sam,” the guy said. “I’m an electrician outta Gainesville —”

“Yeah, I can imagine how rationing has killed your business.”

“Actually, it’s helped,” he said. Mrs. Fetched was only half-listening, but she caught that. Neither one of us were expecting to hear that on Shotgun Sam.

Neither was Sam: “Whaaat?” was all he managed to get out.

“Yeah. I know it’s gotta be hurting somewhere, but I’m better off with it now. Before, I couldn’t count on getting enough gas to get through the week — I had to turn down work because I didn’t know if I could get there — but I know I’ll get 20 gallons a week now ’cuz I’m in construction…”

Mrs. Fetched and I gave each other the goggle-eye. “You’re in the wrong line of work,” she said. Sam was trying to take over, but all he could get out was an occasional “Yeah, but—” or “You gotta—” while the guy kept on:

“…on the exchange. And contractors in Athens and Cleveland are staying closer to home, too. I swapped jobs with a guy in Clarkesville, and it’s workin’ out for me. If I got a bigger job, I toss the dirt bike in the truck and ride that home for the nights. Sure, I’d like to have a full tank all the time, and I never thought I’d say it, but this rationing is actually workin’ out for me.” (Yes, I’m paraphrasing. I wasn’t recording the show, but I think I remember what he said pretty well.)

Sam finally got his jaw off the desk, cut the guy off, and started ranting. It was mostly incoherent, or maybe I was laughing so hard I was trying to keep from going under (I like laying in the creek on these 90+ days) and couldn’t concentrate. I caught the gist of it, I think: the shortages are artificial, it’s because we didn’t drill ANWR, it’s because we got out of Iraq (funny how that works, they’re actually getting their production act back together), it’s because we didn’t invade Iran when we had the chance, it’s because goplets are getting cheated in each election (yeah right), it’s the unions’ fault, it’s the immigrants’ fault…. At this point, he got to stammering. It was totally hilarious, right up until he forgot to use code language, and came out and said it: “I guess there’s only one thing left. We need to start takin’ Congress out, one at a time.” He might have managed to pass it off as meaning electorally, except that he added his trademark shotgun-racking sound effect. I think the producers panicked at this point, about a minute too late. He started in again, they faded him out and went to commercials, then some news & sports reporting came on.

Mrs. Fetched cocked her head at me. “Did he say what I just think he said?”

“Yup. He’s in some major hot water.”

I’ve been waiting to hear how things went down before posting, not like I’ve had a lot of time this week for anything else. Anyway, the FCC is fining him $200,000 and giving a wrist-slap fine to all the stations who carried the show. I suppose a couple of sponsors will drop the show (until the publicity dies down, anyway), Sam issued a non-apology yesterday, and the rest of the professional mouths that seem to own the media will moan about how “unfair” it is and urge their listeners to help out “poor Sam” (like he needs it — Scaife, or whoever’s hand is up Sam’s… back… probably calls it a cost of doing business and will pay it out of petty cash).

It’s like I said before, the wingies will try taking by force what they can’t get at the polls. The Dems got a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate in 2008 (and Lordy was it fun to watch Lieberman whine when he got stripped of his appointments), along with the Presidency — then (as if it was needed) a veto-proof majority in both houses in 2010. The goplets are putting up one of the most unelectable candidates ever for President this year, so it doesn’t look like they’ll get any traction with the White House, and their prospects in Congress don’t look much better. Only seven states, Planet Georgia unfortunately being one, still sends a majority of goplets to Washington. People aren’t happy with the energy problems, but they seem to understand the (current) government isn’t to blame for the situation. The Right is starting to lose its grip, on a lot of people and (so it seems) mentally. If they ever had the latter…

Oh well, on to more pleasant thoughts. With the four-day work week underway, I’ll be telecommuting three days out of four — so that’s a little less gas I’ll need to burn each week. I get to spend Mondays in the chicken houses, but only for the mornings, and only for a few more months. I guess I’ll spend afternoons down at the creek, especially if Mrs. Fetched joins me. Nothing like skinny-dipping with your SO to take your mind off politics…



  1. Morning FAR.

    Great continuation with the story.

    I've had those “Did he say what I just think he said?” moments many times before. :)

  2. Morning FAR, FM ...

    What FM said ... :) Great story you've got going here FAR!

  3. Hello farfetched!

    Ha!ha! you kinda had me going about the 50% die-off off thing! At first, I thought maybe you talking about people, not chickens! ha!

    Really, what's the difference? Chickens or people? Check this site out, http:/www.paulchefurka.ca/Population.html.. Under this model,(which both John and I agree with), the annunal average excess death rate will reach 100 million people,(not chickens), for the next 75 years. Furthermore, these excess deaths are expected to reach 50 million before 2012, by 2017 150 million, peak at 2027 at 200 million, and then tapper..................

    Ok, to put this in prospective, it's suggested on this site that only 10 million excess deaths occured during WWII, annually for six years..

    Perhaps a better prospective would be by 2020 and extending to 2042, 150 million excess deaths will occur each year. That is the population of this country dieing every other year, or for eleven years...........................

    farfetched, can you imagine this? Have you even thought about this? What about Mrs. Farfetched? Have you let her on this little secret?

    You bet, farfetched, might as well take as many times down at the creek with Mrs. Farfetched, while you can!

    Thanks, yooper.

  4. farfetched, put another way,anunally excess deaths will roughly be 5 New York cities by 2012, by 2017, 15 of them....Never in the history of mankind, has this magnitude of a problem exsisted, there are simply no prerequisites for it....

    Thanks yooper.

  5. Hey Yooper. Sobering numbers there, and it could well play out that way. I'd planned to work population decline into the narrative later on — maybe not exactly Chefurka's scenario, but at least a close cousin.

  6. Hey farfetched, sobering yes...Perhaps a thought for you as you fold those Sunday bulletins, there could always be "divine" intervention...Perhaps, work that into your story?

    Divine intervention is beyond science and human understanding. I worked it into my story just fine. As I liken the snowshoe hare population cycle with this current industrial population explosion. The dynamics are likely to be the same or very, very similiar. This shook JMG to the very core. In debating this point, JMG could only solidify this position of the agruement.....

    My strong points are Natural Science and Population Dynamics...

    As I attacked Carolyn Baker's peak oil scenario, this past winter and came forth with my,"Royal Flush in Spades", JMG, has come forth with "Adams Story". Baker's article was featured over at "Adapatation", however, she has since pulled this article, I can find it nowhere. What an idiot I was to condemm this!!! Now, it is lost and nobody can learn from it!!

    Back to Chefurka's, "World Oil Production 1900-2080. Remeber John relating this to readers, that oil production would be virtually the same in 2020 as in 1980? Or 2040 as 1960? Now this is assuming a whole lot....

    That is the difference, between my agruement and just about everyone else's......I do not project anything beyond, the die-off. As I was educated, to never attempt to do.....Only what leads up to it...The focus of my education was perhaps 5% of what might lead to die-off, 50% how to recongize it, 45% how to survive it....

    Think about this will you farfetched? Why was it so important for my instuctors to focus 50% on what this die-off might look like?

    Thanks, yooper.


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