Saturday, May 26, 2018

Subtropical Storm Alberto. Turtledove - The Super Volcano Series. Even ABC news said "Good Job."






It's not even hurricane season yet, and we are looking at another big storm coming through the mountains. The weather forecasts out of Atlanta are predicting up to six inches of rain here, starting tonight and running through Wednesday of next week.  If it's spread out over that long a period, I personally won't have many problems here on the mountain top.  Those people who built houses on the banks of our rivers, or along creeks, will be a different story.  There isn't much to do to get ready for this that I haven't already done.  We've had so much rain in the last month that the diversion ditches are in good shape, the gutters are cleaned out, and that's about all you can do. I did fire up the generator to make sure it's running.

Haunting the book shelves in a county library NW of us, I found a series of books by Harry Turtledove I hadn't known about.  You are probably familiar with him, he wrote "The Guns of the South", an alternative history novel in which the South wins the War Between the States (one can only wish!)

He also wrote the "Southern Victory" series, an eleven volume set that takes the same premise, and follows it through the end of the first civil war, to around 1946. I haven't read that one yet, but I have the first books ordered at the library, so should be on that soon.



The series I hadn't heard about was "Super Volcano."  I've read the first two, Super Volcano -Eruption, and Super Volcano- All Fall Down.




The first two were pretty good, and I have ordered the third through the library.  These aren't actually survivalist books, like the Deep Winter trilogy or Lights Out.  Instead, they follow a family through their own problems and challenges in the aftermath of a super volcano eruption.  The catastrophic events of the eruption form more of a backdrop to the story, than the focal point.  Maybe the third volume, Things Fall Apart,  is different, I don't know yet.  Either way, I enjoyed the first two books. Turtledove is so prolific and so well known that you can surely get the books through inter-library temp loan, thereby saving your shekels for more important things like ammo.




We don't have any plans for Memorial Day weekend. First, there's the weather. Next, the fact that there are thousands of vacationers up here right now, and the traffic on the roads into town is appalling. Better to just stay up here until the dust settles.  If I can find a 20 foot whip antenna for my CB base unit, I may try to get that started up again.  Nobody is still on "the net" here anymore as far as I can tell, but it would be nice to get my own radio back up.  I'll spend some time today plundering around the internet looking for one.  CB base unit gear is as rare as hen's teeth now, I think the internet and cell phones pretty much put paid to that hobby a long time ago.

You might not have heard about the restaurant shooting in Oklahoma yesterday. Some psycho walked into a restaurant there and started shooting. He hit a young woman and two girls.  Two civilians ran out to their cars, got their guns , and blasted the guy.  Even the ABC evening news said they saved a lot of lives.  Couldn't find the segment on the internet (probably ABC is embarrassed by it) so I got this clip from Fox News.




That's about all there is to tell.


 Branco Cartoons:














Quote of the Day:









20 comments:

  1. I see the storm system is off to an early start. Glad to hear you are positioned well. Florida is going to get flooded, at the very least.

    I'm paying close attention to this hurricane season. It makes a big difference in what I do in the winter. I know people who now snowbird in Arizona instead of Florida and the Southeast. Too dry and dusty for my tastes, however.

    Harry Turtledove is a great writer. Love the alternative histories.

    I brought 2 CB radios on my trip last winter and never turned on even one of them. They are those all in one units that plug into the lighter socket with a magnetic antenna for the roof. They work well, but never felt the need.

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    1. I like the Southwest a lot. If I were going to spend part of the year somewhere else, I might try Arizona or New Mexico. But that's not going to happen, at least I have no plans to do so.

      The storm is probably just the first of many. Hurricane "remnants" do a lot of damage here every year. Next to forest fires, they are about the most trying things we have to cope with weather wise. Not that ice storms are much fun...

      Turtledove really is a good writer. I've only started reading a lot of novels since I retired. Clive Cussler and his ilk, like Turtledove, are light reading but relaxing. I am slogging through a book on Andrew Jackson at the moment, and it's one of those you have to make yourself read a little of every night. I'm learning from it though.

      CB has pretty much vanished. I never see the radios in vehicles anymore. There used to be an informal "net" here in this part of the mountains where some real old codgers hung out. But after one of the big storms, almost everyone's antenna field was destroyed. As far as I can tell from listening to the frequencies on a hand held , nobody ever came back up.

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  2. I feel your pain with the rain. Remember all the snow we had. Well its gone, and the hot weather is here. Temps near 100 the next few days. Kind of like living in Fla again. Stay safe my friend

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    1. Rob, there didn't seem to be much of a Spring this year. From bitter cold, to hot and humid, in the space of just a couple of weeks. We've been in the ninties or low eighties this week, with humidity readings up near 90% and rain almost every day.

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  3. Hope the worst of the storm bypasses you two up there on your mountain. Down here on the flatlands, we are having crazy weather, too, with temps in the 90's. We usually don't see that until July and August.

    Being housebound has its advantages. I don't have to deal with tourists or the public in general. And the only time I would have to suffer fools is if I happen to be related to them and they drop by for a visit. So far, that has not happened. :)

    I had forgotten about my local library until you mentioned yours. Mine has a service where I can request a book with my library card and if available, they will let me download it for a two week period to read with my computer. Some of the books you mention sound interesting and I think I will see if I can get them to read using the library service. Thanks for giving my fading memory a bit of a jog.

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    1. I hope it does too, but right now things look grim. It can always veer a bit off to the west, into Alabama, and that would help a lot. Nothing to do but wait and see at this point.

      I read a science fiction story once, where people never left their homes at all. They had everything they needed delivered to them, via robots. At the time I thought that would not be an attractive lifestyle, but now I think I could live with it. :-)

      Our library doesn't have the download option, which would be really nice. Instead, you go on line, and look up the book you want. The computer tells you how many copies of it there are, and where. Then you put the book on hold, and a weekly courier service delivers it to you local library, where you pick it up. Then when you have read it, you have to drive back into town and return it to the library. I'd download them if I could.

      Just a word of caution, the Harry Turtledove books are sometimes a little vulgar.

      Harry

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  4. Hi Harry :)
    Stay safe during those storms! It's finally gotten hot and humid here with some thunderstorms in the forecast, but they are usually nothing too drastic in this area. I like the forecast because it's the weekend and it'll keep the loud weekenders INDOORS. lol.

    I'm glad you mentioned that author. I think Alex would enjoy The Guns of the South. I'm going to check Thriftbooks for a used copy. Our libraries here are all french and it's like pulling teeth to get an English book.

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    1. Rain, that's another good reason to add to your long list of reasons for relocating to an English speaking part of Canada. I would be out a lot of money without our library, and there are lots of good books I just wouldn't have known about without the library.

      Nothing wrong with staying indoors. My wife and I just watched a good Clint Eastwood produced movie at the three guys who stopped the terrorist on the French train some time back. It's cool in the house, and dry, and quiet!

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  5. I have never heard about Harry Turtledove, so I went to my favorite used book site, Thriftbooks.com and they had over
    100 books written by him all for about $3.79. I was able to
    get the 3 volcano books,over #10 free shipping. Thanks!

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    1. I hope you like them. They aren't the typical "disaster" books, but I enjoyed them. A little racy sometimes for younger readers but at my age nothing much fazes me .

      Sounds like a good place to find used books. I always look on Amazon, but I made a note to myself to check out Thrift books.

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  6. Hope you don't get the worst of the storm. I know you are prepared. You just have to have your a/c going, so praying that your electricity stays on. Hot and humid here. I don't even want to think how bad it would be without our a/c. Suppose to be in the 100's by next weekend. Weird weather-not much spring and what we had was very cool. Then it jumped to hot. We are staying home this weekend. I will be canning more green beans. I sure know how to have fun, huh? Jana

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    1. Jana, we are staying home too. Our county is overrun with campers, and other visitors, during holiday weekends. The roads are not really designed to handle much traffic, other than the one big road coming from the Southwest. We got everything we needed before the holiday traffic started.

      Years ago, we went two weeks without power in the dead of summer after hurricane remnants passed over the mountains and annihilated the power grid. I took the kids and my wife to a motel in town, and I stayed out here , just running a few air conditioners and dehumidifiers to keep everything from being ruined . It was a very unpleasant and expensive experience, and I sure hope we don't have a repeat performance.

      Nothing wrong with doing something like canning, it's productive and I think it is probably calming. I know reloading does that for me, and they are similar endeavors.

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  7. I saw where that Alberto is headed right for you (on TheWatchers.com) Keeping my fingers crossed you will be spared, though. We have had downpours and thunder storms and wind...very unusual for us. Usually our rain is just a little more than a drizzle and we get excited over 1/4 inch. I am going to look for Turtledove's books. Maybe for free on Kindle or that thrift book site that Anon mentioned. Read all of Clive's books and enjoyed them. Wish I could send you some cooler weather...it is a chilly 50 and windy today. Volcanos are pretty exciting, especially with the one in Hawaii. Lots of them going off in the world right now. Great videos on YouTube.

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    1. Tewshooz, it's just after eleven on Sunday morning here. Hot and humid, but clear. A new forecast for Alberto came out at eleven, looks like we are going to get hit hard with wind and rain. I am hoping it will veer off more to the Northwest, which would be bad for Alabama but good for us.

      Turtledove has written a lot of books, so many that I didn't even know about the Super Volcano series until I stumbled across one of the books in our library. I like Clive Cussler, his two non fiction books on treasure hunting are really good, and the "oregon series" in particular are books I enjoy.

      Rain out there would be good for everybody, within limits. I remember how dry it was when I passed through your area, and how the big fires were burning off on the horizon, with huge plumes of smoke going up into the sky.

      We lived in Naples, Italy for four years and everybody worried about Vesuvius. Ever so often, there would be a pretty unnerving "terra motto" , earthquake, and the tufa stone walls of our little villa would get cracks. Fortunately, as far as I know, the New Madrid fault is the only thing here we have to worry about. We have earthquakes in Appalachia, about every five years we get one, but they just feel like a strong wing shaking the buildings.

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  8. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    I read this "Supervolcano" book some time ago by Harry Turtledove. They were pretty good. Hey Harry. Try reading the entire 'Dune' series by Frank Herbert. Then try reading the entire Prequeal series by Brian Herbert (Frank Herbert's son) and Kevin J. Anderson a very,very good sci fi writer) In fact read all, I mean all of the 'Dune' books. If you survive. You will win the super, oversized 'Brain' award. Dune is some really serious sci fi that will make your brain implode:)

    The beaches down here are bristling with boorish bastards, bleaching themselves in the Sun. There are many who really annoy me when I am at the beach so I don't go there on major holidays. One such group of large Female land mammals that lumber along the shoreline never entering the water, yet alas. The are wearing bathing suits, whats worse. Many of these Mammoth Momma's are at the 300 LBS mark. Some are in Bikini's! They always lumber along in a spectacle of skin on the shore. They never venture into the water to rinse off the sweat and smell of body deodorant and sun tan lotion which is deadly concoction that the Syrians and Iranians have yet to attempt (satire)
    They march with the Matriarch in the front of the herd of heffers, 'gassing up' and grossing out the beach. I see them coming and thoughts of 'Gas, Gas, Gas' alert me and I purposely duck in the truck (with the doors shut) engine started. Air Conditioning activated. I am secure in my shell until the 'all is clear' alert is sounded and I can escape my enclosure for a spell.

    The cool breeze emanates off the Gulf of Mexico cooling the air on the beach in perfect conditions. In bad conditions (which are all man made) The noise from your fellow beach goer, and even worse the oder of the nearest beach goer will ruin the experience so I stay off the beach when big crowds come around.


    Next week thing will be back to normal and the locals and frequent beach goers will be back to the beach.

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    1. CC, I read the Dune books back in the 1970's, can't remember exactly why because I don't usually read science fiction, but I thought it was pretty good. I remember the "Dune" mini-series that was pretty faithful to the books.

      You really do get a strange collection of people at the beach on holidays. This morning I looked at the Emerald Isle, NC beach, Tybee Island, and several beaches in Florida on the web cams. I thought Florida would be deserted because of the storm, but not so. I guess if you paid in advance for your vacation rooms, and then a storm comes, you just have to make the best of it.

      I think "locals" tend to go underground in big tourist areas during holidays. The beach and the mountains certainly have that in common, that the holiday goers simply submerge the people who live in the area. We forted up here yesterday, didn't even go down to the foot of the mountain to get the mail.

      We will see the mountains empty out here starting next Tuesday, but we are going to be going through Alfredo by then. I know the parks here are full of people camping in tents, and if the rain and wind are as severe as they are predicted to be, I expect a lot of people will leave early.

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  9. We had some of those storms that Tewshooz wrote about and they were humdingers. Quite spectacular light shows and some pretty good downpours. Now we've had a couple of days of winds... at this point, the garden won't ever get seeded. I may just toss all the seeds out, set up a sprinkler and wish it good luck!

    Our little library doesn't have any of those books so I am going to request them. They need some good authors besides the romance novels. (bleech!)

    Be safe, Harry. Will be thinking about you both and praying that the storm will pass over without much chaos for you.
    ~hobo

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    1. Hobo, our library is small, dark, and doesn't have many books. But it is part of the PINES system, which links 66 libraries throughout Georgia. So, you can go on line, and if the book you want is held by any of the libraries, you can have it sent to you free of charge. It usually takes about a week from the time you order it on line until they call you from the library and tell you it is ready for pickup.

      M and I watch the Weather Channel and the Weather Nation channel a lot, and we have seen the west was getting some active weather. I also have some webcams that stream live video, bookmarked so I can go there and see what's going on. I'm not sure if the weather is playing a bigger part in our lives, or if I am just not so busy and have time to keep up with it now.

      Right now , about four o'clock on Sunday afternoon, it looks like the worst of it is heading for Nashville, and we will not get the bad parts they originally told us we would.

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  10. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    The prequel books like the war on the AI's (thinking machines) in the book 'Butlerian Jihad' were really good. Its best to find the first of the prequel books. The other books that take off after 'God Emperor of Dune' are really good too. The final book is 'Sandworms of Dune' is really great. There were a few side books like 'Mentat's of Dune' that turned out to be anther great three books series with some epic battles with massive spacecraft and massive armies.

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    1. Sounds like a fellow would have to invest a lot of time getting through all those books. As I recall, the Dune books were some pretty heavy going, not like a Heinlein book you could read in one sitting.

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