atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#7540: I knew today was going to suck

When I woke up this morning, there was a distinct desire to remain in bed. Limbaugh dying is probably why, but there's no way in hell I can explain that, so I chalk it up to ordinary anxiety and coincidence.

* * *

New York Times headline: "After Winning a $15 Minimum Wage, Fast Food Workers Now Battle Unfair Firings".

No one could possibly have predicted this unfair outcome, could they?

*sigh*

If you want people to earn $15 an hour, they need to be worth $15 an hour. Which is to say, the benefit they bring to their employer must be greater than $15 an hour (plus the hidden taxes they can't itemize on the paychecks, plus benefits, plus plus plus) that the worker costs the company. Fast food workers do not generate that kind of income.

Always remember that the true minimum wage is zero.

This is what happens when government mandates excessive compensation for unskilled labor.

Also, the birdcage liner of record has quietly retracted its claim that Capitol police officer Sicknick was "bludgeoned to death" with a fire extinguisher. Still no word on the paper giving back Walter Duranty's Pulitzer for the extra-sloppy blowjob he gave Josef Stalin in the 1930s, by covering up the Holodomor....

The media lies and lies and lies and then they wonder why no one listens to them any longer.

Larry Correia has the goods on why that is.

* * *

Related: "How to survive when you're under a boil water order". Such hard-hitting journalism!

* * *

So, let's look at the weirdness again.

Even when he's on the big jet, Biden's plane doesn't get "Air Force One" callsign.

Understand this: the military is very big on tradition, and honor, and duty, and dignity, and protocol, and doing things correctly. For the president to be aboard an Air Force plane and that aircraft not to have the callsign "Air Force One" is very unusual. Famously, in 1974 when Nixon was on his way home after resigning, there was a point at which the plane he was on stopped being "Air Force One"--the point at which Gerald Ford was inaugurated. They did not keep the callsign, but changed immediately, the instant Nixon was "former President".

The thing is, there are valid security reasons why the Air Force would not use that a callsign, such as if we're at war, or if the president is doing something hush-hush. (I mean, legitimate state business, not Bill Clinton shenanigans.) But Biden was going to a CNN town hall meeting (which, by the way, was a clusterfuck, more in a minute) and I cannot think of any reason for the callsign to be anything other than "Air Force One" in that circumstance.

The Secret Service does not (at least, it cannot, and fulfill its mission) play around with what their charges think. I really doubt that SS thinks there's a serious threat to Biden's life from "insurgents". There was nothing secret about Biden doing the show, either.

So...why wasn't it "Air Force One"?

Why haven't any of Biden's flights been "Air Force One"? Some folks claimed it was because he was on the smaller plane, not the big one--but that's bullshit because (as I said above) any time the President is on a plane it's "Air Force One" unless it's the big marine helicopter dubbed "Marine One". If the president climbs into a Piper Cub and takes off, that is "Air Force One" even if he's the one flying it. (Of course the Secret Service would have kittens if a sitting president tried to fly himself somewhere in a light plane, but you know what I mean.)

The Marines who guard the president don't salute him. The military treats Biden like a foreign dignitary.

There's not a standing TFR over Mar-a-Lago.

DC is ringed in riot fencing and concertina wire, and more than a brigade of troops are stationed there until October, and no one knows why. The inaugural stage and parade stand are still set up.

It's weird, and it doesn't make sense. Not when you take it all together.

* * *

Biden basically gave China a pass on concentration camps, mass sterilizations, and so forth. He said he's not going to criticize them--of course not! Joe Biden is an honest politician! Once you buy him, he stays bought!

And the Chinese have paid him a great deal of money.

* * *

Texas has bigger problems than a massive power failure. People can't get water. It's bad enough that millions of people are without power, but now there's no water, either...because municipal water supplies require electricity to deliver the water, and the unprecedented cold snap is freezing water pipes.

One genius:
"My entire tiktok fyp is flooded with videos like this of peoples' homes in Texas. The electric company is dead ass wrong for turning off power knowing pipes would bust in the cold," said one user.
The electric company did not turn off the power. The power failed because windmills are a shitty way to generate electricity.

And yes, this begins with the stupid fucking windmills.
Texas has more wind turbines and more wind-generated megawatts than any other state, which under normal circumstances isn’t a problem.

When a “once in a century” winter storm hits Texas the way this storm is hitting Texas, it does a few things:

One: Wind turbines freeze, coated with ice they lose efficiency and stop. They may also be stopped (braked) to keep from failing from rotating under the ice load on the blades. This reduces generation.

Two: Battery storage loses efficiency in the cold, so stored capacity is lost.

Three: Demand skyrockets as people turn on heaters. In an interview I saw with the Governor of Texas, the demand on the grid right now for heat is as high or higher than the demand during the hottest days of the summer for A/C.
Remember the calculation I did the other day, showing what heating a house with electric heat costs? And how it was four times the cost to cool a house with AC?

"One source I saw showed spot prices up 24,000% (LINK), from $4.00 per million Btu last week to $999 yesterday." That's for natural gas. Because everything in the state needs natural gas right now.

By the way, at that last link:
s I wrote this, I realized that my heater hadn't gone on for, oh, seven degrees. The internal temperature in the house had dropped to 57°F (2°C). Not good. As I went to my trusty heater, I found it flashing a series of codes over and over again like an autistic R2-D2™.

In the past, this was a failed part called a "flame roll out sensor" which appears to fail much more often than the penny I replace it with. Just kidding! I use stripped wire. Also kidding. I really don't mess with the heater more than changing the filter every decade or so (Pugsley changes it twice yearly) and flipping the breaker on and off and then poking about the insides like an Albanian strip-mall lawyer trying to fix a copier.
When the bunker gets cold, typically it's that self-same sensor. It gets a coating of tan carbon on it, and the only way to remove it is with some fine-grit sandpaper (I use 800). That's usually enough to fix the furnace and warm the place up again. But the situation in Texas is dire enough that I'd be willing to bet it's a pressure issue and not a dirty sensor.

There are a few really important lessons that our self-styled betters in DC will ignore about all this.

First: windmills are, not to put too fine a point on it, AN EXCESSIVELY SHITTY WAY TO GENERATE ELECTRICITY. Ditto solar. They're not nearly as clean as their proponents claim they are, they never produce as much energy as is required to make them, and they fail when you need them the most.

Second: If you are going to insist on wind power, you have to back it up with gas-fired plants. And you need more natural gas power than the windmills can provide because when the wind power fails you will need lots more than just replacement levels.

Third: in a world where Texas is experiencing such bitter cold that it's an unprecedented disaster, there is no global warming. Better start thinking about global cooling, which at least matches the raw temperature data and the sunspot data.

Fourth: this is a textbook example of how fragile our energy economy actually is.

* * *

The people making "entertainment" these days don't seem to get this egregiously simple point. "If the demography of your characters becomes more important than the story, your story will probably suck." No--take out the "probably".

Your story will suck. Period.

* * *

Well, I'll tell you what: all the effort I put into clearing the driveway yesterday was well-spent. It was extremely easy to get in and out of the driveway today, and in most spots the driveway is already down to pavement. Using that fertilizer spreader to salt the driveway was one of the best ideas I've had in a long time.

*

On my way to the near off-site today, I saw a house with a huge icicle hanging from its second-floor roof edge. Damned thing must be fifteen feet long. Hate to think about what kind of damage it's doing to the roof, though.

*

Well, Wednesday's workday is over. Tomorrow is more hustle and bustle, but I'll worry about tomorrow's worries tomorrow.

* * *

Mustie tried to drive his parents' Westfalia (camper) Vanagon home, and only made it 300 miles before he needed to tow it. It's got a handful of mechanical issues, some of which didn't arise until he tried to drive it home. It blew at least one head gasket and then he couldn't even start it. But the body on it is basically rust-free and rock solid.

I'd be tempted to make an offer on it if one thing were different: if it were the "Syncro" version.

VW made those things in all wheel drive versions, and if I could get a Syncro Westfalia Vanagon with a body in that shape, even with a blown engine--

...well, I'd probably find another excuse, because I have enough stuff to work on as it is. *sigh* Parts for German cars are $ASSRAPE. There's a relay he needs for it, and a new VW part is $400.

* * *

Well, anyway, it's Wednesday evening, and I can relax a little bit.
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