Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Here’s an idea…

Let’s shut off the power while the Fatlady is painting walls!

Rain makes Salt River Project shut down. Doesn’t take much rain, either. It’s just sprinkling here, although there may have been a little blow during the night: the BBQ cover was on the ground this morning, allowing the Merry Goddess to soak the Q’s inner workings.

What a sense of humor that Goddess has…

Power went off  about 5:30 a.m., following a noticeable surge. This created a nice opportunity for me to observe that the kitchen flashlight needed new batteries, and now I have to buy a raft more D-cells. The camp lantern I bought a couple years ago comes in mighty handy during these events: it really does light up a whole room.

I love it when the power is out: the neighborhood is SO quiet! You’re not aware of how much background noise hums and bumps and clanks along, all the time, until it stops.

Fortunately the rain has brought the exterior temp down to 80 degrees. So even with the lights back on, we’re giving the air-conditioner a rest.

And of course, these little power outages remind me, as usual, that I haven’t followed much of the advice I’ve emitted about preparing for an emergency. I’m not even very well prepared for an extended electric outage, to say nothing of {gulp} what could happen.

Chortle! It’s easy enough to laugh off the possibilities:

  • Yes, the fault along the Mexican border has, in the relatively recent past, unleashed an earthquake powerful enough to level block construction even as far north as lovely Uptown Phoenix.
  • Yes, dangerous nut cases have been emboldened by the take-over of our government by extremist elements and yup, yesterday they showed exactly what they’d like to do to those of us they don’t like.
  • Yes, we have an incompetent and almost certainly corrupt fool in the White House, one whose stupidity puts not just the US but the entire effing world in real danger.
  • Yes, we have an aging infrastructure that breaks down in a light sprinkle and is capable of shutting down an entire metropolitan area.
  • Yes, an asteroid could hit us tomorrow.

But none of those things feels real enough to push one to bestir oneself out of one’s inertia.

I still haven’t bought a decent camp stove. The ones I’ve seen at the outdoor megamarts are made in China and are clear & present junk. I’m thinking that what may be needed is a couple of the little hiker’s stoves that SDXB favors for his back-country (and motel…) excursions. There are quite a few of them on Amazon, though I’m going to ask him to take me out to the BX, where I can get one without having to pay tax on it.

Interestingly, they also make little camp stoves that run on wood or charcoal. It would be a nuisance to light, but I’m not sure you can get these small stoves to connect to a regular propane tank. Having to track down those dinky little fuel canisters would be as much of a pain in the neck as getting wood or charcoal to light. And in a real crisis that extends for any length of time, those little butane canisters might be impossible to find.

The wood-burning things are cheap, and there’s a stack of firewood in the backyard that goes halfway to the top of the block wall. On the other hand…I don’t have a hatchet and don’t feel like learning to use one. Hm. Better get over that quirk, I guess.

So, consider: if a Korean bomb hit Los Angeles and you lived west of the Rockies (but not in the immediate area of L.A., what would happen?

Here’s an amusing online calculator that can give you a clue. If you’re not at ground zero, you probably will survive…but not without considerable, uhm, hassle, shall we say… In the Phoenix area, if a bomb the size that Kim’s guys are capable of building struck dead center in the downtown, the serious devastation wouldn’t even reach up to the northern area of North Central. If you were indoors and your structure didn’t collapse, you’d have a shot at sheltering in place. You’d need some plywood or something to seal up the windows that undoubtedly would blow out…but…well, WTF.

If, as is more likely, the worse Kim could do is hit L.A., the fallout plume would largely miss the Phoenix area. Los Angeles is north of here, and the prevailing wind flows northeast. The radioactive fallout would head straight across the Mohave and up to Las Vegas.

In that case, such a strike would be largely survivable for Phoenicians…if you were adequately prepared.

Much of our food is trucked in from Los Angeles. Thus food stocks in grocery stores would quickly be depleted — probably within a day, as panicky residents made runs on markets. For that reason it would be important to have nonperishable items such as rice, beans, and canned goods stocked in…enough to last a couple of weeks, at the least, but better, enough to last at a month. Preferably two.

Water comes in from the Colorado River and to a lesser extent from ground water. Central Arizona Project has stockpiled enough water to serve the Phoenix area for about a year; it’s stored underground. This was to stave off a drought, but if Colorado River water were contaminated, it could be used for a short time.

Electricity is generated by a nuclear power plant here in the Valley, by a coal-fired plant on the Navajo and by dams on the Colorado. While there could be some interruption or rationing of power, I think that would be the least of one’s worries.

Gasoline is piped in from California and Texas. Prices would soar and gas would be in short supply if Texas were the only source. So it would be wise to have a few spare cans of gas on hand.

And now, my friends, let’s consider a real threat that few of us notice or even know about: the extremist, fascist right wing. It reared its ghastly head in Charlottesville yesterday. It’s always been here, this little Grendel, but it’s been quiescent in the swamp for the past few decades. Now that the political climate looks favorable, this ugly creature climbs out of the murky water and makes itself visible.

It would be a mistake to underestimate the number of armed extremist nut cases who are loose on the land…and an even bigger mistake to underestimate the number of armed criminals who would join them in the event of a seriously catastrophic emergency. If your home were stocked with food, fuel, and functioning tools, your home would instantly become a target for these two elements.

You need to be armed and you need to have enough ammunition on hand to last until order can be restored. That could be anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on where you are and what community resources exist in your area. If you don’t know how to use them, you need to go to the nearest range, take some safety lessons, and practice.

So it goes.

Meanwhile, back to the paint job…

Banner image of the day, 8/13/2017

Why? Because endlessly annoying Facebook will not pick up the image you want to illustrate your post. It wants to pick up the banner image, which, if it’s generically the same day after day, quickly bores readers or makes them think today’s post is a repeat of yesterday’s. So the only way to force FB to use an image that has anything to do with your post is to change the banner image to fit the subject of the day. That means today’s banner image (a historic photo of four Nazis, for example) bears no relation whatsoever to the topic of yesterday’s post (ruminations on power outages, for example). So annoying.

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Author: funny

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  1. Look into these lights. We have taken them camping. They are light, solar and so easy to use. I’d added them to our earthquake kits.

    Solar Camping Lantern LED Lights – Inflatable Outdoor Collapsible Flashlights Waterproof Rechargeable Lamp Hiking Biking Patio Picnic Fishing Hunting

    • That’s cool! {chortle!} It inflates! Perfect for when you have to walk out of the city because you couldn’t buy anymore gasoline and the zombies are invading! 😀

      Seriously, the solar lantern idea is great. You wouldn’t have to worry about running out of batteries.

      Hm. On the other hand…come the apocalypse, batteries could be the least of our worries…