February 15th, 2021

#7535: Early to bed etc

Last night I went to bed a lot earlier than I usually do. I think I was in bed before 10. That's probably why I woke naturally before 7, and ended up making a PBJ and sitting down here, even though I have the day off.

Something like five days ago, I mentioned that they'd predicted 5 inches of snow for today. As of right now?

* WHAT...Dangerous travel, low visibility, heavy snow, and cold
temperatures expected. Total snow accumulations of 8 to 13
inches are expected, with locally higher amounts possible,
especially near the lake. Wind chills near 20 degrees below
zero are expected, as well.

* WHERE...All of Cook County.

* WHEN...From 3 AM Monday to noon CST Tuesday.

* IMPACTS...Travel will be very difficult to impossible, with the
worst conditions expected late this afternoon through Tuesday
morning. The hazardous conditions will impact commutes to and
from work. Wind chills as low as 20 degrees below zero may lead
to frostbite in as few as 30 minutes.
Because weather very rarely confines itself to demarcations that exist only in the minds of men, and because the bunker sits about a mile and a half south of the southern border of Cook County, I expect that we're going to get clobbered here.

* * *

Yeah, "teens" are out of control. Teens. I think he could be a little more specific, but of course that would get the guy branded as a racist.

* * *

Due to global warming, Texas is experiencing record cold and their windmills are freezing. Frozen windmills do not make electricity. If your power grid relies on windmills to make electricity, you suffer a shortage of electricity just when you happen to need it most.

This is yet another reason why windmills are a bad way to make electricity.

* * *

It amuses me that the NFL and the TV networks think NFL viewership is going to rise again. Oh, I suppose it might; but before that happens they're going to have to stop with all the SJW shenanigans. Before that can happen, they're going to have to realize that the SJW shenanigans are what cost them viewers. Before that can happen, they're going to have to stop huffing their own flatus.

Because I have not yet seen an example of an SJW-converged organization de-converging, I don't think that's going to happen.

* * *

It's 8, and usually I'd be at work, or very close to it, by now. Sitting here, watching the snow fall--I am glad I let my wife talk me into taking the day off with her.

Using my floating holiday for the month on the day it was meant to cover--what a concept.

I'm actually a little surprised that the weather turned so cold and snowy. Prior to the new year we weren't getting cold and we weren't getting precipitation, but it turned on a dime in late January.

Well, I don't have anything that needs doing, and I had planned to sleep in today. Maybe I'll go lay me down for a little while.

#7536: Texas in the deep freeze

To be fair, Texas is sub-tropical and does not often experience this kind of cold.

The infrastucture there is simply not built to handle temperatures this low.
[Arctic temperatures] cut off natgas supply amid wellhead freeze-offs, cutting production receipts just when customers' demand for heating most needed them. By Friday, frigid temperatures caused equipment failures, temporarily shutdowns in at least four natgas plants.
Last night I watched an episode of Highway Through Hell, which is a show about heavy rescue tow operators in the mountains of British Coloumbia. There was a segment of the show devoted to a section of road that got closed during a blizzard with 40 MPH winds, and it was so cold that the tow trucks were misbehaving. And this is in an area where that kind of weather is not unusual.

Texas is a big state. Northern Texas enjoys a semi-temperate climate and southern Texas is usually warmer. But the kind of air they're dealing with now--

So: I can understand why these things are happening, why there are rolling blackouts and all the other nonsense that's happening now. Even so, the power companies ought to have a better plan than "rolling blackouts" for this kind of situation. This is what comes of having "renewables" as part of your generating capacity, particularly if you cheap out and fail to have backup capacity ready to go. Of course, if your backup is natural gas....

I'm just saying, you wouldn't be seeing this kind of idiocy from nuclear power. In a sensate world, nuclear power would be considered the only viable and reasonable way to generate electricity.

* * *

The other thing is, I'm thinking that a lot of folks in warmer climates have electric baseboard heating, because having a natural gas furnace would probably be overkill and not used often enough to be worth the effort; but the problem is, electric baseboard heating is expensive to run, because elecrtricity is billed by the kilowatt-hour and even a little 1,500 watt space heater uses 1.5 kilowatt-hours every hour you run it. So, if runs for 24 hours at full blast, you're talking 36 kilowatt-hours just for that one device. That's about $4 worth electricity.

I'm seeing baseboard heaters running anywhere from 500 to 2500 watts. Let's say 1,500 watts, because 500 is enough to warm a broom closet and 2,500 will heat a garage. Further, let's say your house is approximately like the bunker and has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room, kitchen, dining, and family rooms. The bathrooms are small so they have 500 watt heaters in them but the other rooms have 1500 watt heaters. 11,500 watts total heating capacity. And let's give this the benefit of the doubt and say they only need to run about half the time, so we're multiplying times twelve to get kilowatt-hours. 138 kilowatt-hours of electricity used, per day. And let's further be generous and say electricity only costs $0.10 per kw-h. So, $13.80 per day to heat your house.

For a week, that's $97--close to $100. Two weeks, $193.

My gas bill for the entire month of January was $110, and that includes the hot water heater to boot. This is what I mean when I say that electric baseboard heating is expensive. And I should add that cooling the house only runs about $4-$5 per day in summertime, meaning that air conditioning is more efficient than electric heat is.

Now, for a place like Texas, I think the wise thing to use would be a heat pump. Heat pumps are reversible; usually you'd use it as an air conditioner but you can throw a switch and have it run the other way, and work as a heater instead. There's probably a downside here I'm not considering, though.

Still--my oldest sister lives in a town not too far from New Orleans, and her house has gas heat. So, I don't know.

* * *

Lindsay Graham is scarcely any better than Mitch McCowbell but it's going to be six years before we have a chance to be rid of him.

* * *

I don't know what to think about this. It is certainly true that the election was "fortified" and the sitting executive is illegitimate. I don't know that the rest of it follows, the stuff about there being only 13 legitimate state governments etcetera.

On the other hand, a lot of the legal nicities are beyond my poor little brain.

* * *

This is the same plan I advocate for opening the schools. Unlock the doors, say "school is open", and fire the teachers who refuse to work.

* * *

I slept a few more hours, and woke up from an extremely boring dream where I was arguing the economics of discounted merchandise with a guy who understandably didn't want to buy a $1,000 jacket for his teenage son (said son claiming he was going to get it at a significant discount). I was a customer in the same store; I didn't even work there.

"Wow," I thought upon waking. "That was really boring."

* * *

Overall, it's been a relatively peaceful and relaxing day, though I'm not sure we're going to go out for sushi as we'd planned. The weather is supposed to get progressively worse as the day winds on. It's been snowing--lightly--pretty much continuously all day but now the flakes are a lot bigger than they were when I got up before, and it's coming down a bit harder now.

"Travel will be very difficult to impossible," says the winter storm warning that's been in effect since 3 AM, and even though I've got a Jeep, I do not care to attempt it.

I guess we'll just have to put off having sushi until the weather improves.

Ah, winter. Yes; winter.

#7537: 35 inches in two weeks

Watched the news in order to get a handle on what tomorrow is going to look like, and learned that the area has had close to three feet of snow in a two-week period.

Around 2:30-ish I braved the weather to go pickup some Chinese--an attempt to mollify my wife's disappointment at not having sushi today--and it was not good driving. Though I had traction, I saw the vehicle ahead of me spin out, and then almost got the left front corner of another car in my driver's side door at the next intersection. He came around the corner too fast.

On my way back, in the same place I saw the spinout, there was a car in the ditch.

The roads were almost entirely covered.

So, on the news, they said that municipal plows had given up for the night in many places. The state trucks are going to operate all night, but they can't keep up with the snowfall, so all and sundry are saying, "STAY HOME."

Mrs. Fungus has an important appointment in the morning and we currently don't know if she's going to be able to make it, even if I drive her. The roads may still be too bad tomorrow morning.

Have to play it by ear, but for now we're assuming that I'll be driving her to that appointment and to work. I've already told my boss not to expect me in before noon as a result.


But if the roads are too bad we'll have to reschedule that and have her stay home. I'll still go to work, though, because it's local and I have a Jeep and I'm trying to conserve my PTO.

Anyway, after having Chinese, I went out and blew down the driveway. It was covered in snow that had fallen over the weekend, plus what had already fallen today, and it was about four inches' worth. But it's continued to snow, and harder than it has since the last big dump, so I think there's going to be rather a lot to deal with.

Along with the snow, we've got cold temperatures, but tomorrow it's supposed to be warmer than it has in over a week--20°--though I'm not sure how. The weatherman just said it was supposed to get cold again.

Oh well.