Saturday, June 16, 2018

Then Reddy Kilowatt Lets You Down

The other evening, the power went out in the middle of the night causing the ceiling fans to stop their circulation of air.

That’s what woke me up.

The juice came back on and the answering machine on the land line called out for me to set the time.

That’s how I knew it was back on.

The power again went out that morning around 5:15 am just after I had gotten my first cup of coffee.

With her ceiling fans off—yet again—my daughter got up for summer school an hour early.

That night, my cable company had a massive system outage that affected a large portion of the entire nation.

That got me thinking about disruption.

We say  we realize how addicted to power we are, but are we really aware of the immediate impact we will feel?

After World War II, electricity was promoted as an amazing cure all.

A character named Reddy Kilowatt extolled the virtues of an electrified tomorrow.

He sold Americans on electrification largely by promoting appliances that were marketed toward women to reduce their work load. 

Washers, dryers, refrigerator/freezers, electric mixers, dishwashers, trash compactors, can openers, and so on revolutionized the home.

Now we are being sold the notion of EVs to replace our conventional cars because EVs run on clean energy.

Sure they do (!), but that's not my debate.

Although Teslas are in no way any more technologically advanced than their competition, the company has sparked tremendous interest in EVs to the point that a barrage of EVs of all stripes is headed to market.

The only problem is that they will make us even more dependent on electricity.

My state (California), will not permit new conventional power plants to be built and instead they want so-called green energy that is woefully inefficient for producing electricity and ridiculously expensive to use.

So, what if the power goes out?

Sure, we can have generators and get by for a short amount of time.

But the reality is that loss of electricity will be a major #SHTF event.

I'm not talking about loss as a result of an EMP (highly unlikely), or terrorist attack (highly likely), but from system overload that literally sets a power plant on fire.

A system-overload fire and loss of a power plant is very likely because we are increasing our electrical draw, but we are not increasing our electrical supply.

That imbalance causes system heat which an lead to failure.

Now factor in how old power plants are and this becomes quite a concern.

And we must prepare.

I don't have a magic elixir cure, but I have some suggestions.

Learn to use far less electricity by doing things by hand like washing dishes, laundering clothes, drying garments on a line, mixing foods with a whisk, and so on.

Of course, get a generator.

Of course, get some solar panels that charge batteries.

Consider converting electric appliances to gas where possible.

We have to be ready.

Prepare well, my friends.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

#Preparedness: So You Think You're Stressed Now

Sometimes, I think I have nightmares that only a #prepper can have.

In them, I know I need to get food and supplies gathered, but there is an obstacle.

Perhaps, there is no means to transport goods from my storage to the bug-out vehicle.

Maybe, I need to run to the store for literally one thing I forgot, but, when I get there, the store is dark and abandoned.

Much of the time, our dreams and nightmares come from stressors in our lives.

The average person has stress.

Preppers add stress on top of conventional stress.

Then other preppers tell them they should not be stressed because they are prepared.

But that just isn't how it works.

The irony is that stress can be our enemy or our friend.

Stress is our enemy when it causes worry and mental anguish.

Stress is our friend when we see it as a motivating force to propel us into motion.

Stress causes motion, one way or another, and there is no way to avoid stress.

The trick is how we channel that movement.

If the stress of prepping weighs you down, causes you to worry, and then to buy three of everything in sight—because some idiot said: “Three is two. Two is one. One is none.”—then then you sink under the weight of the stress.

If however, the stress causes you to investigate, to seek training and education, and to develop mindsets and strategies that give you positive movement in a stressful situation, then you win.

But this work is yours alone to do.

Stress sometimes makes us feel as if we are on the outside looking into a situation.

It can deny us the "permission" to walk right in and to start playing in the situation.

Doing what I do for a living, I see more and more young people crippled by stress.

I was different at their age. I felt gargantuan stress all the time, but the fear of not performing at all and failing got me to do something.

Whenever I did something, I tended to do it well.

So, I learned that stress is merely telling me to take charge, to get after it, and to make something happen.

That attitude lured me into prepping.

That attitude lured me into CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) participation. 

The thing about stress is that it's transitory with crests and valleys, but it will always be there.

People who say they have gotten rid of stress in their lives merely choose to believe it is no longer there.

They are likely sublimating it and that will cause problems.

Embrace your stress.

Tell yourself it is a tool of empowerment.

Then get something done.

Prepare well, my friends.