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Monday, January 12, 2009

FAR Future, Episode 68: Starts Off with a Bang

This one’s a little shorter than usual, but that’s how they go sometimes. There’s a longer one coming up that will partially make up for it. :-)

Sunday, January 1, 2023
Starts Off with a Bang

On Planet Georgia and other places, there’s a tradition of shooting off fireworks to begin the new year. I guess they couldn’t get fireworks in Tulsa this year, so they firebombed two refineries instead. The fire department managed to get the Conoco fire under control pretty quickly. Sunoco… not so much. Kim texted us before we even knew anything had happened: OK here, wasn't anywhere close. Christina is still worried sick. The rest of us… we’re just worried.

Of course, most of the nation got the word when they went to watch the first Rose Parade since 2015, and were instead treated to night video of a raging refinery fire and the President blaming Rotter terrorists for the incident. The news ran an interview with a refinery employee who said something along the lines of “a bunch of guys in masks came in, pulled guns on us, then drove us outside the fence and set off their bombs.” They also said that the army has imposed a 72-hour curfew in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City, and various curfews in other cities around the country — Atlanta’s is fairly minimal, midnight to 6 a.m., but they have checkpoints and random searches for anyone crossing I-285 in either direction right now. (Which makes the “Perimeter” truly a perimeter, at least for now.) Local media are broadcasting contacts for anyone who needs food (in the total clamp-down areas) or emergency services. As a “balance,” they provided a press release from the Rotters denying responsibility for the bombing.

Some Rotter-symp blogs are claiming it’s a false-flag incident — in other words, the government bombed the refineries to have an excuse to clean out the RoT. Um… you mean, like trying to assassinate the President and inciting riots isn’t reason enough? Putting any kind of crimp in the flow of what little fuel we’re getting would be grounds for violent overthrow, and insta-polls are suggesting that nuking the Rotters outright wouldn’t be considered objectionable at the moment, even in the more junta/RoT-tolerant parts of the country like here. The news isn’t carrying much of anything but the refinery fire and the reactions, but I’ll bet the columns are already rolling toward Texas.

Rene is incommunicado — probably working double shifts — and Serena was able to get a quick email to us: Calls home suspended for a few. Sorry. Hope Kim's OK. I'll call when they let me.

Anyone else remember a book called The Texas-Israeli War: 1999? Only 24 years behind schedule, and Israel has too many problems of its own to be doing mercenary work for anyone else. At least they got the oil part right.



  1. I see that Israel survived the Middle East nuking of 2021 (wink).

    I am enjoying your episodes. However, I'd like to read more about what life is like in 2022 with very little fuel. How has life changed from, say 2012-2014, when blackouts and transportation was described in detail.


    Jenny Genser, aka "The Wonk" or "The Wonkette" on other forums.

  2. Hey Far! At least Kim didn't go up like a roman candle, eh? I had a couple of friends who worked at the refineries at Pasadena,Tx.. I think, one worked for the refinery's own fire dept.. Just the smell of gas and oil around the refineries was enough to floor ya, at times. Off of them, all the time! ha! ha!

    Hope, those Texas boys are ready for 'em! I suspose, that's were they'll be sending Kim next, eh? Think Kim will head 'em off at the pass?

    Thanks yooper

  3. Hi Jenny, and welcome to the free-range insane asylum!

    There's a little more of general life coming up shortly… once the Rotters are cauterized, anyway! Thanks for reading, and stay tuned… just remember, the world is getting bigger.

  4. Hi Yooper… yeah, Kim's been going through a lot lately. Separated from his lady-fair, bounced from a relatively cushy training post to the frying pan, and all too close to the fire. I can imagine that those refineries, and maybe a perimeter around it, were strict no-smoking zones, hey? Even with the safety regs, you still hear about at least one refinery fire a year…

  5. So tell me how Israel survived the nuclear exchange without becoming radioactive, in Far Future land.

    Jenny, again

  6. Jenny, Israel didn't get nuked. Iran had two; they dropped one on Ghawar and one in the Straits of Hormuz. The Saudis responded by dropping dirty bombs on Iran's oil fields. They have plenty of other problems, though, but I'm not sure I'll be able to cover them well. To the U.S., at this point, the Mideast is no longer worth meddling in. :-P

  7. Hey Far! You bet, smoking was only allowed in specific places. These refineries are huge complexes, as large as some of the factories around Detroit.

    "Pressure leaks" was the main concern that both men were afraid of. They claimed many times you couldn't see, hear or smell them but if you walked across such a place it could cut you in half... They put their lives on the line in hopes that the pressure gauges worked.

    Gee, those guys made good money too, comparable to my supervisor construction pay. The benefits they got were much better. Heh! They were always looking foward to shut-downs! ha!

    Thanks yooper

  8. Wow, Yooper, I find that "pressure leak" thing hard to believe… that much pressure would create a fair amount of turbulence on either side, and just about everything in a refinery would be rather odorous. Now if it popped as they were walking by, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, I could see how that would be deadly. Or maybe these weren't in open areas? If a rivet on a pressure tank popped, and there's a catwalk right there, that would do it.

    I worked offshore for a summer as a galley hand (cook's assistant), and even minimum wage is good money when you're pulling 84-hour weeks. The rig workers make pretty decent money even without a lot of education, but there are definitely hazards.


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