Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

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JimT
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Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by JimT »

Power went down Sunday and did not come back (here) until this evening. The ice storm we had broke tree branches and downed trees in the neighborhood. Then it snowed on top of that. Yesterday we got another 1/8" of ice on everything.

Stores, gas stations, water treatment plants are down. Austin is under a BOIL ORDER as are some outlying suburbs. Many people are without water and power. Temps were down near zero several nights. Warmed up to 28 here today. Back down in the teens tonight.

We are doing OK. Have propane, a generator, wood heat. The cell phone towers were partially out and internet was not working. Have spotty service now but we are blessed. A lot people have had it very hard.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by AJMD429 »

Glad to hear you're ok... 8)
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by Tycer »

Hello Jim. If any ‘Mercian can handle this it’s you. I am so not surprised you’re weathering this ok. Quite the oddball weather system eh?
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by CowboyTutt »

Camping gear comes mighty handy during these times! Glad your doing well Jim! -Tutt
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by JimT »

I had one survival question I have not had answered.

How long can you wear long underwear before your hair starts growing through them?

:o
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by piller »

Just do not sew yourself into them and you will not answer your own question.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by GunnyMack »

JimT wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:02 pm
I had one survival question I have not had answered.

How long can you wear long underwear before your hair starts growing through them?

:o
I believe I heard human hair grows approximately 1cm per month. :lol:
Good to hear some first hand accounts, more importantly you are ok.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

This event showed us all something about the holes in our systems. We know what we did right and what we wish we had done differently.

For example, I have a gasoline/propane generator, but I have it out on the ranch and the roads have been such that I haven't been out there.

I have a nice camp stove, but it too is out on the ranch.

Next week, the wise will start to work on patching up those holes.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by marlinman93 »

Ours went out one morning, and didn't come back on until the next afternoon. About 27 hrs. or so of no lights or heat. We lit the gas stove with matches, and cooked, which we considered a real blessing! We also turned on burners just to take some chill off the house, and sat around bundled up.
Our granddaughter had come over because her power had been out for days, and it was 30's inside the house. So it was a bit humorous the next day when we too lost power. I told her she was jinxed, and power outages followed her!
We got about 14" of snow here, with two layers of ice mixed in that were 1"-2" each. It's been 46-50 degrees the last 3 days now, but still lots of snow left in yards. Streets are all clear though.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by JimT »

Scott Tschirhart wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:36 am
This event showed us all something about the holes in our systems. We know what we did right and what we wish we had done differently.
Yes. It was a good learning experience.
We have a plan in place to upgrade!
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by piller »

The ant and the grasshopper. The problem with that story is that there are usually more ants in reality. Still, the grasshopper personality types are now complaining that the Government, who doesn't own the wind or solar power generation, didn't do enough when the wind and solar power generation dropped to less than 2 percent of the total electricity generation. T. Boone Pickens was responsible for putting those 2 types in. George Dubya got the wind farms approved and cut the nuclear power generating in half as Governor. Bronco Bomb-uh got the solar power approved as Prez-don't. Now that we see the life threatening failures of the green energy systems, the 15 watt lightbulbs in a 100 watt world like Beta O'Rourke are complaining.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by jeepnik »

I’ve heard lots of complaining by folks who have no heat of power. In one case a fellow said his generator had been broken, he didn’t know how to fix it and hadn’t bothered to have it fixed. He also had no backup heat or even good blankets.

Many commiserated with him. Then you read Jim’s post and it’s clear many of today’s young are simply going to die if really hard times ever come.

A couple of years ago my eldest worked a scene where a guy went off roading in summer and got stuck. No cell reception. But more importantly he had no water with him. I mean zip zero water. He had to make the notification.

Turns out the guy had often done this and stated he’d just call for help if needed.

When the phone didn’t work he tried to walkout. He started in early afternoon and only made it a few miles before collapsing. Pretty much did everything wrong.

The family complained that it was the cell phone company’s fault because there was no reception in that area. Apparently, their first thought was to sue the carrier.

That one incident is a great example of what most of today’s kids think. Or don’t, as the case may be.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I used to go off by myself with a 4 wheeler on a 3600 acre ranch near Del Rio. One day I turned the dang thing over and got trapped under it with gasoline dripping on me. I was in a tight and narrow spot, but nothing was broken and I was able to wriggle my way out. But if I had not, they would have found my bones becasue nobody knew where I was or what I was up to.

I got to be a lot more careful and I always enjoyed inviting friends out to hunt with me after that.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by piller »

It is not a bad idea to let someone know where you plan to be and for how long when you go out into the wilderness. As we get older, we are more prone to injuries.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by octagon »

A few years ago I forgot to pay the electricity at the ranch, and they turned it off. I left it off for 3 years, and taught the kids to get along without, it turned out to be a fun and valuable lesson for everyone. I recently caved and turned it back on, having only missed the A/C. The best part for everyone was providing entertainment at night, playing guitars and cards by candlelight, dancing and bourbon for the adults, watching the sunsets and stars, shooting contests, fishing, visits with good neighbors, bbq etc. :D
Texas had a much longer cold snap back in early 80s when the lake froze solid for a month, probably less cold though than this one.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by JimT »

octagon wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:03 pm
Texas had a much longer cold snap back in early 80s when the lake froze solid for a month, probably less cold though than this one.
The San Gabriel River is within 300 yards of the house .. it was partially frozen over at one point this week.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by piller »

If this cold would have lasted a month, then we would have been able to ice fish.

No electricity? With my type of job it would be difficult.
My Dad helped his Dad wire houses back in the 1940s when the Outhouse Gang was putting up poles and wire for electricity to come to the Oklahoma Panhandle.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by JOG »

Up here in the cold northeast we call it winter! It's like that everyday if it's a bad winter. The past few year's have not been to bad. I remember the ice storm of 1998. I was in New Hampshire at the time, everything had a inch of ice covering it. We lost electric for a week. For day's you would hear large trees cracking and falling down! In 2015 here in Maine we got 50+ inches in a three day storm. You need to be prepared or you could die! At the very least I have lot's of battery's for the radio, canned food, water, sterno for cooking! A big ole kerosene heater saved our butts! Thanksgiving 2014 we lost electric that morning, it lasted for three day's! I cooked a large turkey breast, potato's with string beans with cranberry sauce. My wife made a apple pie the day before, we also had fresh perked coffee. We did this all in a Dutch oven with sterno! After that we went to a gas stove! There is no guarantees in life! Without modern convinces the young people will fall apart. Hopefully this is a wake up call to all the people who think old uncle Sam will take care of everything they need! I see lot's of the smart people down in Texas handled everything pretty well. My guess is the people that handled it well own pickup trucks, Winchester and Colt's! Let's not forget Marlins and Rugers! Stay safe Texan's and God Bless!
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by rossim92 »

JimT wrote:
Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:16 pm
Power went down Sunday and did not come back (here) until this evening. The ice storm we had broke tree branches and downed trees in the neighborhood. Then it snowed on top of that. Yesterday we got another 1/8" of ice on everything.

Stores, gas stations, water treatment plants are down. Austin is under a BOIL ORDER as are some outlying suburbs. Many people are without water and power. Temps were down near zero several nights. Warmed up to 28 here today. Back down in the teens tonight.

We are doing OK. Have propane, a generator, wood heat. The cell phone towers were partially out and internet was not working. Have spotty service now but we are blessed. A lot people have had it very hard.
just read on the phone that texas residents are being stuck with highly outrageous electric bills. Is it true, or just fake news again?
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JimT
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by JimT »

rossim92 wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:31 am
just read on the phone that texas residents are being stuck with highly outrageous electric bills. Is it true, or just fake news again?
I have no clue. We have not had any mail service for a week.
We have solar and don't usually have a bill. It did not work this past week of course, being snow-covered, but neither did we use anything from the grid, so I don't expect any bills.

EDIT: I checked with my son-in-law who works in the energy industry. Apparently when you sign a contract for electricity, some providers only offer a "variable rate" plan. If the cost is low your bill is low. The down side is, when the cost sky-rockets, so does your bill. And some folks are getting huge bills because of that. I am not sure how it will work out.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by piller »

No information yet on my bill.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by marlinman93 »

There is no cure for the "take care of me mentality" that some people have these days! They will continue to not learn from this, and the next big event they'll have the same problems, and still complain the government isn't taking care of them!
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by piller »

Sadly true!
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by jeepnik »

The mention of electric bills reminded me. Here you can select from three different rates based on “your” desired power source.

One is all green power. The highest.
Another is a mix of green and regular power. Medium priced.
The third and lowest is regular power.

Now if you know anything about electric you know there is only one grid. Yet I have had folks who pay for green power insist that they use only wind or solar power.

That fellow who spoke of a sucker being born every minute knew what he was talking about.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by piller »

In parts of Texas, maybe all - I don't know, the solar panels go into the grid, and if the grid goes down, the solar panels in your yard or or on your house stop working. A friend who has a farm had solar panels put up, big ones that would create more power than he uses during the daytime, and during this storm he lost power. The grid went down and his solar panels went off. That is when he found out that his panels could not be run to where they powered his house. The local regulations purchased by T. Boone Pickens when George Dubya was Governor make it where your panels go into the grid, and the power they produce can lower your bill. Bad news, you do not get paid for the power produced if it is more than you use. Also, you cannot go and tap into your 100 foot long by 10 foot high panels for your own use. The Libs and the rich folks steal from you on green energy.
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JimT
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by JimT »

piller wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:27 pm
you do not get paid for the power produced if it is more than you use. Also, you cannot go and tap into your 100 foot long by 10 foot high panels for your own use. The Libs and the rich folks steal from you on green energy.
Have not gotten a check from the power company, true, Instead we get credit that is applied to our bill when the time comes that we are not producing more than we use. Like during cloudy, rainy, stormy days.

Our panels are set up so that we can plug into them and use the power they generate for ourselves, even when we are disconnected from the grid. They don't work so well with 4" of ice and snow on them, that's for sure. And they are not "the answer" to power shortages. But they are a part of the overall plan we have to be self-sufficient when we need to be.

The best solar setup is one that charges batteries and you store the energy you produce. Again, this is not an answer, but simply part of an overall plan to be self-sufficient, or at least more so.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by CowboyTutt »

Been without power here for days on end over the summer due to fire problems. One of my most rewarding moments was when I went to the city office to recharge my phone and other items. I was surrounded by fellow neighbors who felt the same way. It was singularly one of the most exciting moments I have ever felt. -Tutt
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JimT
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by JimT »

CowboyTutt wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:13 pm
Been without power here for days on end over the summer due to fire problems. One of my most rewarding moments was when I went to the city office to recharge my phone and other items. I was surrounded by fellow neighbors who felt the same way. It was singularly one of the most exciting moments I have ever felt. -Tutt
We have small solar panels for charging phones, cameras etc. They are inexpensive and come in very handy. We used them a lot in Africa. There I had a set that fit on my backpack so that when walking someplace I could be charging things. We used solar powered audio Bibles a lot, since the literacy rate was pretty low. In the bush a talking box that spoke the native dialect was a real hit!
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by shasta_steve »

I operate power plants for a living. Right now the main plant I operate is a combined cycle gas turbine. Texas has been buzzing lately. You find out soon it is really a pretty small industry where almost everyone has friends most everywhere. With California being California lots of guys I know have headed to Texas over the years.

The way Texas operates its grid is different than anywhere else in the US. Basically you have West, East and Texas. Pretty hard to get much power in or out of Texas. Wind and solar are far from perfect. They are a huge pain to forecast and make it really hard for traditional plants to keep up. They basically do what they do and we try and chase the load. It makes our costs seem artificially high because we often have to operate in a less efficient mode when we need a lot of extra power or have to reduce load. As stated before paying more for "green " energy is pretty dumb. It is all the same grid. Most of these green energy projects are coming no mater what happens anyway.

Now that being said renewables had very little effect on the power going out or some of the extreme bills these guys are facing. The reason the grid went down was most of the power plants did not do a very good job insulating their plants. When cooling lines or transmitters start freezing up the plant wont stay online very long. My brother was telling me last night they had lost at least one nuke and a ton of gas turbines. We are supposed to have everything insulated to handle cold temps but when you don't see temps like that for years things often get missed. I have been in a power plant when things were freezing up and had to shut it down. It sucks.

Same thing for the really high bills. As I understand Texas offers a couple different ways to buy power. One is to pay a wholesaler based on the cost they pay for power. In an unregulated market that is usually lower than market but when things get crazy costs can get out of control. I heard that for a while they were getting $9000 a MW or $9 a kilowatt. We had the same thing happen in California during the early 2000s when we tried to deregulate. It did not take a few companies long to figure out if they shut off supply they could dramatically raise prices.

Now for me I am sure we have at least a years supply of food at the house. Another thing I built last year was what is called a "solar generator". Basically it is just batteries and an inverter. It can either be charged with solar panels or a generator. Has plenty of power to run up to about 1200 watts appliance and has about 1700 watts total. Plenty to power up a tv and some lights for a couple days. I actually built it for camping when I take my boat out but works good for power outages too.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by JimT »

shasta_steve wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:14 pm
Another thing I built last year was what is called a "solar generator". Basically it is just batteries and an inverter. It can either be charged with solar panels or a generator. Has plenty of power to run up to about 1200 watts appliance and has about 1700 watts total. Plenty to power up a tv and some lights for a couple days. I actually built it for camping when I take my boat out but works good for power outages too.
I had a friend in Africa who had that built into his house. It ran everything except A/C.
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Re: Cancel Search and Rescue! We are still alive and doing well.

Post by piller »

Two nuclear power plants in Texas. One near the place where the fossil records make the Theory of Evolution worshippers cry and commit suicide, the other near Houston. The one near Houston had one of the two reactors automatically shut down because of a slowdown in the water intake. I do not know if they put in more control rods or if they scrammed it.
The green energy is 23% of Texas power production when it is at maximum designed capacity. During the storm it dropped to 2%, yes TWO PERCENT, of total capacity.

The natural gas wells froze up because of the high water vapor content in the gas. Natural Gas doesn't freeze up until it is more than 200° below zero. Water vapor which is not removed properly causes the freezing that Texas saw.

There were mistakes made all around.
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