The Weekly Watch

Out with the Old, and In with the New?

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I started this piece early last week as a gardening reference, but as the week has progressed I've begun to think about the odd juxtaposition of the collapse of the Texas power grid (Houston we have a problem) with achievement of landing a rover on Mars....old and new indeed. Like much of the country we had some cold weather (teens) this week. None the less, we kept a few crops growing mostly under covers. Many folks (even locals) are amazed that we keep a garden going most of the year. This year of COVID has particularly focused our attention on the garden and homestead. It has been nice to have a productive project during these odd times. Thought I would include some photos of the old (soon to be harvested) and new (soon to be planted) crops. We'll also look at the weeks news and see what we can find of interest. Jump in below the fold and add anything on your mind in the comments.

I must admit to being intrigued with the Mars landing and the complexity of the rover. It really is an example of outstanding engineering and a wonderful planetary science event. To my mind it confirms human ability to solve difficult problems. At the same time, the failure of the unregulated (by choice) Texas grid makes me think of our misplaced priorities. We can achieve incredible things, but choose instead to focus on profit. The ills of US run away capitalism are blatant and obvious....from the homeless crisis to the lack of health care in a pandemic to the utter failure to help our citizens prevent COVID to endless wars to slave wages for the working class compared to billions in profit for the elite.

The Perseverance landing is a powerful demonstration of human cognition, science and reason. It is a powerful rebuke to the incessant contemporary glorification of irrationalism and a mighty vindication of the materialist understanding of the world. There are, in fact, objective laws of nature that humans can comprehend and act upon.

The significance of the achievement stands in stark contrast to the social disaster in the US and throughout the world. Two days before the rover touched down, an 11-year-old boy froze to death in Texas during a snowstorm that has collapsed the heating and electrical infrastructure of virtually the entire state.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/02/20/pers-f20.html

Rick Wolff discusses the Texas power grid situation...(8 min)

Prof. Wolff talks about the failure of the electrical industry in Texas to respond to the extreme weather that has led to the suffering of so many Texans. Wolff argues that key social institutions and protections like energy and public health should not be left in the hands of private interests who are only motivated by profits.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the grid, said Thursday the state was “seconds and minutes” away from a catastrophic failure that could have led to a months-long blackout. This week’s power outages also led to big delays in COVID-19 vaccine distribution and soaring fuel prices.

During an earnings call Wednesday, executive Roland Burns of the natural gas producer Comstock Resources celebrated the winter weather disaster.

Roland Burns: “This week is like hitting the jackpot, you know, with some of these incredible prices. I mean, you know, frankly, we were able to sell at super premium prices for a material amount of production.”

On Thursday, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador called on Mexicans to ration electricity, after Texas shut off exports of natural gas amid the crisis.

https://www.democracynow.org/2021/2/19/headlines/power_cuts_freezing_tem...

Ted Cruz got caught headed to warm sunny Cancun...

Sen. Ted Cruz: “Yesterday, my daughters asked if they could take a trip with some friends, and Heidi and I agreed, so I flew down with them last night, dropped them off here, and now I’m headed back to Texas and back continuing to work to try to get the power on.”

Senator Cruz was initially booked to stay in Mexico until Saturday. He was met by protesters calling for his resignation at Houston’s airport — and in the bitter cold outside his home

To add insult to injury, many Texans are getting outrageous electric bills...

The combination of insufficient capacity and the temperature-induced crippling of power stations led to a complete collapse of the power grid. As power plants and natural gas pipelines froze, the market price of electrical power in Texas soared from a seasonal average of $50 to $9,000 per Megawatt.

Texans on variable rate electricity plans have seen electricity bills for tens of thousands of dollars. According to KHOU 11, Dallas resident Ty Williams owes more than $17,000 for his house, guest home and office.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/02/20/trhe-f20.html

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The "hyper-individualist" mindset runs rampant in capitalist nations, especially the US, where it's praised as "hard work" and "common sense." In this episode, we take a look at why the individualist mindset is counterproductive and an utterly absurd way to view the world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TjOX9clhwM&t=13s

Chris and code pink discuss US aggression toward China (34 min)

The U.S. is increasing pressure on Iran by surrounding it with NATO troops.
https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/02/nato-deployments-to-iraq-are-suppo...

Jimmy also spoke with Chris this week...
The entire interview 45 min https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olBU619Dlsc&t=0s
America Has The Tinder To IGNITE Social Uprising - Chris Hedges
And shorter edits if you don't have the time for the whole enchilada.
Biden Will Shut Down Left Voices w/Chris Hedges
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax7dCXsaQSw (19 min)
Will Americans RISE UP? w/Chris Hedges
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEtIYziP27A (4.5 min)

Rick Wolff discusses third parties with Jimmy
America Needs Third Parties w/Professor Richard Wolff
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMormX0DqIs (13 min)

Change is difficult when there is a non-stop propaganda machine shouting lies...
As usual Caity nails it...
https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/02/18/its-not-a-political-problem-its-...

If the majority of a troubled population believes their political system is operating in a way that is demonstrably very different from the way it actually operates, then that population doesn’t have a political problem, it has a propaganda problem.

Berners watched the mass media actively sabotage the Sanders campaign day after day in two consecutive elections, and went “The problem is not enough progressives in government!” No, the problem is the billionaire media are constantly lying to everyone. Create a truth-based information ecosystem and politics will move toward health by itself.

She continues the theme in her next article...
https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/02/20/they-dont-work-to-kill-all-disse...

The managers of empire do not work to crush and silence all dissent like a conventional totalitarian regime would do. They are much more clever than that.

In a society that maintains the illusion of freedom in order to prevent outrage and revolution, it does not serve rulers to stifle all dissent. Just the opposite in fact: their interests are served by having a small number of dissidents hanging around the fringes of society creating the illusion of freedom. If Johnny Hempshirt over there is allowed to stand on a soapbox and criticize the US war machine, then the US must be a free country.

So they don’t work to silence all dissent. What they do is work to make sure that dissent never hits a critical mass and goes mainstream.

Jimmy and Graham discuss the ways we are kept divided...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrnPcRGluuE (6 min)

Jimmy talks with Matt Stoller about big tech's media censorship
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw6N8IbvjkE (36 min)

Jimmy has been editing and re-posting earlier interviews. I liked this one when Jimmy tells the story of how he learned racism is a way to manipulate us as a kid.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8ZYm1re6fM (7 min)

Any of your friends (like some of mine) refuse to let go of russiagate? Here's a great interview to send them...Aaron Mate' on Matt and Katie's show debunks russiagate and the Syrian gas attacks. It is about an hour long.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGy6c3SHWf0&t=27m30s

Glenn takes an honest look at the Capitol riot...
https://scheerpost.com/2021/02/18/the-false-and-exaggerated-claims-still...

... none of that justifies lying about what happened that day, especially by the news media. Condemning that riot does not allow, let alone require, echoing false claims in order to render the event more menacing and serious than it actually was. There is no circumstance or motive that justifies the dissemination of false claims by journalists. The more consequential the event, the less justified, and more harmful, serial journalistic falsehoods are.

Yet this is exactly what has happened, and continues to happen, since that riot almost seven weeks ago. And anyone who tries to correct these falsehoods is instantly attacked with the cynical accusation that if you want only truthful reporting about what happened, then you’re trying to “minimize” what happened and are likely an apologist for if not a full-fledged supporter of the protesters themselves.

seedlings.jpg

What about the garden?

Here's a clip I described earlier (but couldn't find again till now) about using polycarbonate coldframes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLYJRcmkijY (8 min in)

Well, our garden is still producing...It is an under cover operation.
Mustard greens
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Collards
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Cabbage and Kale
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Off with its head!
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And outer leaves into a pan...
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So much for the old, what about the new?

We use an old shelf re-purposed as a seed growing station.
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I take them out when weather allows, and next week I'll harden them off under cover in the garden...
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Gardening is a constant circle of old and new...a strong reminder of the cycle of life.

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Last week I planted two more American Chestnut trees. From here on out I'll take cuttings from the few trees I have and continue to spread what was once the dominant tree in our forests. The world keeps spinning and climate chaos continues its bizarre variations. And still the garden grows. Somehow it is satisfying despite the challenges. You don't have to garden to get in touch with nature, but it grounds me in the natural patterns and flows. Here's hoping you are able to get out and enjoy natural world. I look forward to your stories and ideas below!

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Lookout's picture

Jim is an excellent gardener. I've picked up lots of tips over the years from him...
27 min

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9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Jen's picture

I would never pay a $17,000 electric bill. Even if I had that kind of money I would never pay it. If I had that kind of money, I would instead invest in some solar panels and maybe a windmill too. I wonder how many solar panels you could buy and have installed for $17,000?

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Is it great yet?

Lookout's picture

@Jen

and even a tesla powerwall.

Greg Palast posted a piece about the background of TX electrical situation.
https://www.gregpalast.com/texas-gets-layd-how-the-bush-family-turned-of...

Until 1992, the USA had just about the lowest electricity prices in the world and the most reliable system.

For a century, power companies had been limited by law to recovering their provable costs plus a “reasonable,” i.e. small, profit. But in 1992, George H. W. Bush, in the last gasps of his failed presidency, began to deregulate the industry.
...
Bush’s son “Shrub,” Texas Gov. George W. Bush, signed a law in 1999 forcing the state’s hapless customers to accept any price the “free” market dictated. Enron’s CEO Ken Lay showed his appreciation by becoming Baby Bush’s number one donor for Dubya’s presidential ambitions.

This week, wholesale electric prices in Texas, normally $50 per megawatt-hour, busted over $9,000/MWHR. Again. It happens with every cold snap and heat wave. One shop owner, Akilah Scott-Amos, showed the Daily Beast her electric bills which blew up from $34 per month to $450 for a single day.

Sure makes me grateful for our government (TVA) power which is very inexpensive.

Hope you and yours are doing well. Hope the grand is growing and learning!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

QMS's picture

@Jen

The tricky bit is to go 'off grid' and have the panels charge a large battery bank. Wire it into inverters, so if the grid goes down, you still have power.
Panels ~ $10K
Batteries ~ $3K
Inverters ~ $2K
Switching, Regulators, Wiring ~ $2K
Labor ?? ~ DIY $0
Electricians, Permits, Etc. ~ $3K
State / Fed Rebates ~ 20%

Most people get talked into having the solar array to feed the grid which
cuts down on the install $ (no batteries, less for inverters) and gives you
undervalued credits toward the electrical bill. Problem is, when the grid
goes down, you have nothing. The electrical utilities are not given incentives
to maintain the grid, only to repair damaged transformers and broken lines.

Best guess, you could power your house (depending on loads) for less than $17K.
YMMV. Have been building a stand alone system for years now, cash allowing.
Passive solar water heating should be considered as part of the design, IMO.
Can also be used as heat.

Good luck!

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Lookout's picture

@QMS

but that's our only solar...well do have a DIY solar oven.

Our power is cheap TVA through an rural electric coop. Never made $ence to go with PVs

I've got a back up gas generator, but would like to get a portable backup battery generator for the house and to also use camping and at the camp house. Saw this recently as an option for camping...
https://www.homedepot.com/p/RYOBI-150-Watt-Powered-Inverter-for-ONE-18-V...
Since I already have ryobi drills and such.

Stay warm up yonder!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Raggedy Ann's picture

@QMS . We had solar in our home that my husband hooked up himself. Our goal was not to tie into the grid for the reasons you cite. I plan to put solar on the house I'm purchasing - I do not trust the grid anywhere. Battery capacity is the key. Batteries are cheaper than ever.

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The UFO’s are coming to unify us.

QMS's picture

@Raggedy Ann

hiring the locals
our own personal waiter

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QMS's picture

@QMS

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5 users have voted.

It is scary to see how the news is being focused on the terrible news coming out of Texas and things that are happening on the world stage are being glossed over or not even being reported in the news.

Am currently still in Texas and have gotten to deal first hand with this man made disaster here. Am staying with sister in law and her husband and we lost electricity on Sunday night and it did not return until Wednesday early in the morning. Luckily, they have a gas stove and we had running water at that time so just keeping warm was our challenge but did have some small propane heaters and added candles to the “new emergency kit” supplies. When the electricity came back on, we did all indulge in a hot shower and noticed the pressure was down and immediately begin to draw up water and then the “boil water” notice came on and had to boil the water as well. By Wednesday afternoon, the water was off at their house and now conserving water was the issue. Thankfully, all the camping I have down served me well on how to wash dishes with minimal amounts of water. My sister in law did realize that there was some misuse of water at their house so hopefully this lesson will change some people’s attitudes toward their water usage. Their son had water at his house and we went over there and got several gallons to be able to have drinking and cooking water after we boiled it.

Water came back on this morning but still under “boil notice” and still limited usage. I hope this will help make some changes in the way things are done in Texas but there is a steep uphill battle ahead of us. There are a lot of politicians making noise but “politics as usual” will lead to little or no change. All of the changes/improvements are going to raise taxes and this of course is one of the issues that is raised every time there is an election but one can be hopeful.

Enough from me, need to read more of the clips you have posted. Love the pictures from your garden and glad for your bountiful harvest. Reading more of what you have posted and making decisions on what my future should look like and a garden is really a part of that plan.

Have a good week and thanks for all the hard work you put into this!

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Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

@jakkalbessie My out with the old, in with the new, is to replace the plumbing in my home. All of it. Correct every mistake every plumber ever made. Every mistake produced a burst pipe. I haven't had water in a week, might be another week before the plumber can get here with the materials. Materials are very hard to find.
I am hauling water from the house next door, and taking a shower at my office.
Every other truck that has passed by this morning is loaded with PVC pipe. I am one of many without water.
Oh, well...the finished product will be an upgrade.

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Lookout's picture

@on the cusp

pipe instead of PVC. Sorry you're having to endure a plumbing rehab!

https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/pex-piping-everything-you-need-to-know/

However there are disadvantages (as with all plumbing materials).
https://smartchoice.plumbing/pex-plumbing-disadvantages-what-you-need-to...

There are 3 types of PEX (A, B, and C), but type B is the only one that doesn’t appear to have the leaching problem. The research is still incomplete on this matter, but if you want to use PEX, you may want to choose type B.

Best of luck with the speed and quality of your project!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout material. The north winds blows under my home, always has, always will. If this type of weather event is going to become a regular event, the PEX might help in the future.

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QMS's picture

@on the cusp

I use Qest, made for motor homes and boats.
Same expansion qualities. Same type of quick dis-
connect. The point is to make a drain at the lowest
point. I do this every year for my boats.
House is copper, with drains and valves.

Good luck!

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enhydra lutris's picture

@on the cusp @on the cusp

plumbing seems to always need changes of some sort or another, repairs and whatnot, and pex is really sweet to work with, do it yourself, or save labor costs big time if you have it done.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

QMS's picture

@on the cusp

I use Qest, made for motor homes and boats.
Same expansion qualities. Same type of quick dis-
connect. The point is to make a drain at the lowest
point. I do this every year for my boats.
House is copper, with drains and valves.

Good luck!

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Lookout's picture

@on the cusp

We played several parties for Bobby Lee...he always paid well. Lots of stories about him. One you may like was his cigar trick. Before testimony by a damning witness, he would put a wire down his cigar so he could maintain a long ash. Said the jury wouldn't focus on the testimony but just watch the ever growing ash. Obviously a trick from back in the day...

Bobby Lee.jpg

When Bobby Lee Cook passed away on Friday morning, Chattooga County began mourning the famed lawyer.

Bobby Lee Cook was born in Lyerly, Georgia in 1927 and grew up there. He later attended a military school and later joined the Navy. After that he studied law at Vanderbilt University. At 21 he ran for the Georgia House of Representatives from Chattooga County.

While Bobby Lee Cook came back to practice in his hometown, he was also known across the United States. He took on more than 300 murder trails in more than 40 states and even in several other countries. He has worked on multiple high profile cases and his clients have included names like Rockefellers and Carnegies. Cook also represented moonshiners, money launderers, bootleggers and bank fraud schemers. The character of Matlock played by Andy Griffith, was rumored to have been based on Mr. Cook.

Bobby Lee was the first recipient of the Georgia Bar Tradition of Excellence Award and later was inducted into the American Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame in 2009. Despite being known across the nation for his skills in the courtroom, residents of Chattooga County remember Mr. Cook more fondly. Many local lawyers, judges, and businesses remember Mr. Cook as a friend, mentor, and patron. Facebook was flooded yesterday with many condolences for Mr. Cooks family.

Cook is survived by his daughters Kristina Cook Graham, the chief judge of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, and Sara Cook Williams, as well as several grandchildren.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Lookout's picture

@jakkalbessie

and glad to hear...

Water came back on this morning but still under “boil notice” and still limited usage. I hope this will help make some changes in the way things are done in Texas but there is a steep uphill battle ahead of us. There are a lot of politicians making noise but “politics as usual” will lead to little or no change. All of the changes/improvements are going to raise taxes and this of course is one of the issues that is raised every time there is an election but one can be hopeful.

We have a well, but no water without power...or setting up and using the generator (which we have done in long term outages...well twice in our 33 years here.) Every place and every situation has issues. Does seem like in trying times we act better toward each other...trying to help.

Wishing you and all our Texas friends the best... and a rapid recovery.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Raggedy Ann's picture

Great selection for us this week in the WW. I was happy to hear an update from jackalbessie. When I buy my house, I plan to add solar and raised beds in order to become self sufficient. This is all necessary in a collapsing empire.

Enjoy the day! Pleasantry

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The UFO’s are coming to unify us.

Lookout's picture

@Raggedy Ann

Headed into the 50's here. Blue blue skies. Rain moves in tonight but its called to be light.

It is interesting to watch, feel, sense the collapse around us. But the forest doesn't care... at least for a while. The birds are more rapid in telling the story. Did hear the sandhill cranes fly over today, and saw a big group of turkeys yesterday on the other side of the ridge.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

QMS's picture

Lost two of his brothers this year, didn't have the heart to take this one down.
They were producing nice brown nuts up until a couple years ago.
Fortunately, I planted many of the nuts out back and some new ones are sprouting.

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snow seal keeps regenerating..

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Lookout's picture

@QMS

https://vonnegut.fandom.com/wiki/Gal%C3%A1pagos:_A_Novel

Has humans evolving into seals. He claimed the way you could tell they were human is when one farted, they all laughed.

Great old chestnut. When in NC as a youth, the big carcasses lay on the ridge tops...some drug out and sawn into "wormy" chestnut.

Take care!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

get stuff into the ground here beyond our overwintering plants. There's always the where and when dilemma, always complicated by the fact that there will be a 2 week gap in our ability to tend the garden in mid-March. Plant before and hope we can sufficiently automate or plant after and hope it isn't too late. second only to sow direct, or start and then plant or break down and get starters from hardware/nursery. It really is crazy especially when one has to deal with neighbors cutting down trees - oh wow, more light on THAT patch now - jays and squirrels stashing and stealing and all the things that would be serious problems if we were really dependent on what we grow which, thankfully, we aren't.

Mountains of mail piling up to attend to plus weeks of feederwatch reports to post too. At some point we need to plant our guava in the ground too, hole is dug but soil sux, and so it goes (to coin a phrase).

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lookout's picture

@enhydra lutris

and plant starts...and/or seed. Should be no rush in CA? May be racing dry season?

The first video in the garden section I was thinking about you and an earlier ww edition...
Here's a clip I described earlier (but couldn't find again till now) about using polycarbonate coldframes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLYJRcmkijY (8 min in)

Have a good one!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lookout

then got distracted checking to see if TAP Plastics (local plastics retail specialist) had any corrugated clear poly sheets and how much and all that. Might so with something along those lines this next fall/winter.

thanks for the link.

be well and have a good one

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4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

ggersh's picture

I'm happy to see our Texas women seem to be doing OK!

Here in Chitown we've had the February from hell, a normal seasons worth
of snow in just 2 weeks along w/freezing temps. That's about to change though
as we are expecting temp's in the mid to upper 30's for the next two weeks but
there is no let up as we are expecting more snow today and more snow next week.

I don't know why we hear about Illinois being so bad as my electric bill was $110
and Gas bill was $85 during the polar vortex. Maybe just maybe Texans will start
leaving Texas to come to Illinois ;-O

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"AOC is the only waiter that brings NOTHING to the table"
--Some brilliant person on Twitter.

NO MORE WAR

@ggersh
I hear ya'.

Maybe just maybe Texans will start leaving Texas to come to Illinois ;-O

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Lookout's picture

@ggersh

but that scene isn't very attractive. And one of the hottest dances I ever played was in Chi town. But the hottest ever was in SC in an old rec center set on a hilltop.

Too bad we can't store that over heating for times of under heating. Up in Oak Ridge TN they tried using the heat of fusion released when ice forms in winter and absorb excess heat in summer when the ice thaws. The cycle was too long term to be practical. They used to have ice houses before refrigeration.

Kinda like the old time ice house.

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6 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lookout

fishing boats all used ice so the harbor areas all had ice houses and ice plants. There are a couple of them still in SF - they've been repurposed but the external structures are there, multi-story brick units covering an entire city block or so each.

be well and have a good one

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5 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Granma's picture

@ggersh Wish my electric bill was that low. In theory, the Pacific Northwest has cheap electricity. The reality is different. The reason our electricity bills won't be sky high after our very cold weather is that we lost power for days. For some people, it will be weeks. The lines are built to handle some ice, but not upwards of an inch and a half of ice.

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earthling1's picture

@Granma
of the river, Granma. We pay 8.3 cents per kwh. My bill right now is running about $200 mo. But w/all electric home and an electric Leaf.
In summer it drops to average $60.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

Lookout's picture

@earthling1

running two meters...barn and house. A bargain in my book.

Hope the homestead is progressing nicely!

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6 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@earthling1 @earthling1
My sister in Alabama has mini-splits, I forget the brand but they have the highest warranty and best EER. Japanese brand. There are American alternatives but this Japanese brand was the best. Not cheap but not second mortgage stuff either. $6,00 for the main unit and about a $1,000 for individual room units. Cools or heats. each unit with a remote control. Since the huse has zero insulation (built in the 1950's) they really are a savings.

EDIT:
Fujitsu. Like everything else, prices post-covid have jumped by the official 1% leaps and bounds. What I quoted was installed. Apparently the equipment itself now costs more than the equipment plus installation pre-COVID.

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2 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

earthling1's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness
with that tech. For apartments and small homes it works.
I had a geothermo system installed back when we could get Fed Tax Credits for it. Gotta tell ya it cut my electric bill 44%.
Was quite spendy though. Will have to give Obama kudos for the $7500 tax credit. And the state and county for further credits. Brought the system down to a tolerable $11,000 in 2014 dollars.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

@earthling1
My sister lives in a 1950's uninsulated house in central Alabama.
Minisplits are ideal in that situation. If I lived there I would at least get a bedroom unit to obviate the need to cool down the whole house at night. I probably would have a central also, but my wife likes to sleep five degrees cooler at night. No sense in dropping the whole house for one room.

I'm used to natural gas, but it's not environmentally friendly. In Virginia I had a total electric house with resistance heating. Liked the individual room controls but it did consume a lot of power. Didn't like the electric range either. My daughter has a home built solar cooker that she says works well. And there is always microwave. Actually, I daydream about charcoal barbecuing with my grandson who is interested in being a chef. Yes, it's carbon. Nothing like the carbon footprint of a gas furnace in Northern Illinois.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Lookout's picture

@Granma

https://www.chooseenergy.com/data-center/electricity-sources-by-state/

My local power is mainly nuclear (TVA) despite several hydroplants/dams in my area. Hope your power is reliable and inexpensive!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

earthling1's picture

@Lookout
is from Bonneville Dam with Wind and Solar mixed in and gas fired gen. @ Boardman, Or.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

earthling1's picture

@ggersh
we have been marvelling at all the Texas plates on the I-5 corridor in. They seem to be everywhere and not just in vacation season.
That and semis with loads of Teslas headed north to Seattle.
Thanks for the WW, Lookout.

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8 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

Lookout's picture

@earthling1

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4 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

lotlizard's picture

If a cold snap would ever get close to freezing at latitudes below the Tropic of Cancer, though, it’s likely the entire globe’s weather system would be up the creek without a paddle, not just Hawai‘i.

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Lookout's picture

@lotlizard

of weather variation we will see...not to mention kids. Watching the empire collapse is a historical replication. The ecosystem destruction has also happened before with comic collisions and such, but we have no one to blame but ourselves for the levels of ecocide we see around us.

Best enjoy what we have while we have it! Have a good one.

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6 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

mimi's picture

alright with 'chopping off the head' !

Please post always a lot of photos from your garden. It's so much easier to visualize what you describe. Looks like I have to buy bales of straw. Have never done this before. Our short garden grass clippings might mulch too fast. So much to learn.

Thanks for all the Hedges and Wolff video links. Both are my favorites. And Jimmy of course for always having them on his show. Sigh. So glad they are still all talking.

Snow has melted, it was a beautiful day with blue skies, sun and birds all over the place.

All, have a good day and good luck in handling all the bad luck that might be thrown at you.
I don't watch the TV news anymore. Just can't stand it anymore. My news sources here are much better. Thank you all for that.

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Lookout's picture

@mimi

and off with their heads was a common line from the Queen of Hearts.
queen.jpg

I use wheat straw cause I'm lazy. Ruth used straw (too weedy in my world). We must adapt to our own system.

Hope you got out and enjoyed you day!

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6 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Lookout's picture

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5 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

lotlizard's picture

@Lookout  
and once you’re on the inside, you’re going to strategize differently than when you’re on the outside… There’s all kinds of things going on that y’all on the outside don’t know about and can’t expect us to be open about, that’s not how things work, blah blah…”

I really believed Green politician Joschka Fischer was going to change something when he became German foreign minister. He visited Washington DC and I don’t know what secret insider info they showed him, or maybe they have some kind of sellout telepathy ray? Anyway, when he came back he changed things all right — German forces went to war for the first time since World War II, in the Balkans and later in Afghanistan.

While German troops didn’t themselves go invade Iraq, the U.S. airbases in Germany played (and still do play) an essential role in that ongoing war and occupation as well. The German Basic Law forbids German participation in wars of aggression. Yet the German constitutional court handwaved away the lawsuits peace activists tried to bring on those grounds. It was around that time that antiwar sentiment in Germany started to become more common on the right than among the left.

Do the Squad / the Justice Democrats etc. even have any positions at all re peace, war, and foreign policy? I guess Tulsi Gabbard was the last Democrat to buck the neocon pro-war, pro-empire stampede.

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Lookout's picture

@lotlizard

...with arms production in every state to keep the pols mainlining the money.

and this is old data
https://web.stanford.edu/class/e297a/U.S.%20Defense%20Industry%20and%20A...
couldn't find what I was really looking for....suppressed by the search algorithm I bet.

But no matter how much we make...it isn't enough
https://breakingdefense.com/2021/01/us-war-surge-production-too-slow-csi...

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5 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

@#0

often so much excess capacity, that it sometimes gives away electricity, but Tejas can't even accept it if they wanted to becasue they aren't connected to the grid.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lookout's picture

@enhydra lutris

We sell electricity and yet they want more production?

Alabama Power says its customers now use the most power on cold winter mornings when electric heat pumps compete with hair dryers and water heaters. There’s also a sharper peak around 6 or 7 a.m. on weekdays as people get ready and businesses start turning their lights on.

But still, Alabama Power has not suffered an outage due to lack of capacity in decades, even during the polar vortex of 2014. The last such outage in the whole Southern Company system, which includes utilities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, occurred in 1977.

https://www.al.com/news/2020/03/how-much-does-alabama-power-need-to-keep...

You can't make it up. My idea is just go outside and forget the bastards!

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7 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

lookout. I hope Prof. Wolff's message is getting out. Some people are getting it.
Here is a very brief article that indicates a better way to manage the electric grid throughout the country. Texas is not the only one with a gigantic problem. Similar circumstances exist in other states.
https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/blog/new-report-sheds-light-on-amer...

Jeffrey St. Clair has a fantastic article on how completely corrupt our energy sector is. He lays a chunk of this corruption out in all its gory and horrific detail. It is truly nauseating. Highly recommended to read in full Smile
https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/02/21/power-plays-the-bipartisan-origi...

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Lookout's picture

@randtntx

the counterpunch piece makes you want to punch them. Warmongering low lives.

Hope you're warm and safe! A lovely 50+F here.

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5 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@randtntx It is always good to confirm one's suspicions in re Big Donors and Big Oil.

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magiamma's picture

thanks for the ww. Just back from a sunny day outside planting rushes in the low beds of the bioswale. So pleasant. It is definitely time to plant here. No more freezing nights this close to the coast. Spring is doing it's thing and it is incredible. Leaves are budding out everywhere, the Magnolia is blooming, plum trees are blooming, Irises are coming up, Quince has been blooming for a while. The Acacias will be blooming and many will have allergies. They at least seem to be on time. My variegated huckleberry is leafing out. It's just so exciting.

So it goes until it doesn't. Have to say that I watched the latest Beckwith videos on the Polar Vortex. The image from last year's polar vortex ONLY reached down to lower IL. This year it went all the way to TX and the Gulf. Exponential? Whatdaya think? What will it be next year if this is really a trend? Boy howdy. Love the ones your with. Life is precious.

Take good care...

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

Lookout's picture

@magiamma

...but we're only a month or so behind.

And yes I think we're in exponential change..on a logarithmic scale like the spread of the pandemic. Find love and joy where you can...to my way of thinking it is the best objective!

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5 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Makes me think of going back to gardening. Problem is, not sure what the previous owners did to the existing soil. We bought lots of dirt for previous garden beds. Also next month's electric bill is about $140.

One of the pernicious ideas of neoliberalism is that the pursuit of profits makes companies efficient and competitive so they lower prices. I imagine that Texans thought they had one helluva power grid because private companies were service oriented and super duper efficient.

I have to wonder if there will be major changes in the medical system (like not allowing monopolies; medicine supply chains not in China; etc). I mostly doubt it as the USA and the West sees itself as having superior and well run infrastructure. Take a look at this article before the pandemic hit.

These are the top 10 countries for pandemic preparedness

This article came out in Nov. 2019, about a month before the world began to hear about the virus in China.

best_in_pandemic.PNG

How does a nation reform and change course when blind greed and utter arrogance consumes the leadership supported by large parts of the population? It seems many on this forum have the right idea. Build from the local.

BTW, the Dutch have been experiencing significant riots over the covid lock down.

Covid: Dutch curfew riots rage for third night

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Lookout's picture

@MrWebster

It really is that simple. I use horse manure and straw but there are lots of choices depending on where you live.

The pandemic game they played in 2019 is telling too don't you think?
https://centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. The exercise illustrated areas where public/private partnerships will be necessary during the response to a severe pandemic in order to diminish large-scale economic and societal consequences.

Edit to add:

The elephant in the room to me is the recommended diet which is leading to most ill health IMO. Processed foods are killing us.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

janis b's picture

Your music selection brought to mind Leon Redbone -

.

I very much enjoyed Ruth Stout's Garden.

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Lookout's picture

@janis b

was a lesson to me in my youth that I apply to this day. I use more manure than she did, but her soils are not as depleted as those in the south.

Speaking of the south, hope all is well in your deep south. Another rain here today. Should be good for the young trees.

Have a great week!

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5 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

janis b's picture

@Lookout

As much as I'd like to follow Ruth's strategy I'm not sure what success it would have in a semi-tropical environment, especially without the rainfall it is used to.

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