"A black swan is an event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and is extremely difficult to predict; the term was popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a finance professor, writer and former Wall Street trader.Black swan events are typically random and are unexpected."
When we went into town today, our own Ingles had no gas. I didn't think much of it, until the next station down the road had no gasoline either. It turned out there was not a drop of gasoline to be had at any stations in our county.
Since my kids were here, I haven't followed the news with anything like the attention to detail that has been my habit. That's why I didn't know that the pipeline that brings gasoline to Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama had "gone down." In town people were saying the pipeline was out of service and might not be up until next week.
I don't let my tank get below half on my vehicles, and I have 30 gallons of gasoline in Jerry cans stored at the house. Nor do I have to go anywhere unless I want to in the ordinary run of things. But this will go hard with people who work across the mountains, or in Atlanta.
When I got home I got my Kindle and read some newspapers about the problem. None of the articles would even hazard a guess as to when the system will be up and running again. Apparently some 365,000 gallons of gasoline vented from the pipeline, but fortunately most of it was trapped by an abandoned holding pond.
The Governors of Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama have declared a state of emergency. That will let them disregard certain rules on how long tanker drivers can drive without rest, and on how fuel has to be transferred. It also lets them dictate who gets what fuel can be delivered by truck, which means government at state and county level has first priority.
There was a lot of anger and panic in town. This is tourist season still, and people who meant to fill up on the way here weren't able to do so, as there was no gas to be had along the way. How people will get home from the mountains when they can't get fuel tomorrow is anyone's guess. There are not a lot of vehicles, recreational or otherwise, which can make the drive from Atlanta all the way here and then all the way back unless they set out with full tanks to start with.
The grocery stores were full of old people, getting their medicine, pet food, and other supplies. We did some of that, as we don't intend to go back to town til this issue is resolved. We loaded the jeep with extra consumables and with luxuries we don't always buy, and went home. I was amazed at how rude people were, especially at the pharmacy. There were a lot of people like me, who didn't even know this was going on until they rolled into town. The aisles were full of those little carts the sick, lame and lazy ride around in. Courtesy was out of the window and there was a lot of snarling and snapping in non-Southern accents. I didn't see a whole lot of local people in the parking lots. But there were plenty of plates from Florida.
CBS had a short segment on the situation half way through their broadcast tonight, but they just mentioned that there would be extreme gasoline shortages in some of the Southern states, and they gave no estimate of when the pipeline will be functional again. It was of far less concern to them than their nightly attempt to defame Donald Trump. Presumably, no one at the CBS headquarters will be discommoded by not being able to buy gas. There was some news on the local Atlanta stations, mostly interviews with people who had enough gas to get to the gas station but not enough to get home again after finding out there was no gasoline. "How I gwan to get bak home now de ain' no gas!"
It did not escape my notice that gas in town was selling at 23 cents a gallon more after the pipeline shut down than it was before the break.The owners, who are generally Pakistanis in North Georgia, jacked the price up as soon as they got word about the shortage, and sold gasoline at inflated prices until their tanks went dry. These gas station operators did not miss their chance for windfall profits, despite threats from the Governor of Georgia to punish profiteering. They know that's all talk, so they took the main chance and gave everyone a good hosing. They probably made more money doing that this week than they did selling Sudafed to Smurfs for the meth dealers.
We'll see how it goes. The grocery stores in town were destitute of the same commodities that disappear when a big snow storm is coming. The principle culprits were the half way backs, 90% of the people being rude and acting like selfish , greedy monkeys were Seniors.
|It's the truth.|
The pharmacy was so appalling that I wanted to leave, but M was concerned that they'd run out of her medications , and she had let herself get low. So we stayed and put up with the chaos.
As for the rest of this week, it was one I will forget as soon as I can. I had a doctor's appointment with a specialist. It turned out to be for something I didn't even know was wrong with me. My doctor's office, which made the appointment, knew but didn't choose to enlighten me. Nothing of any import but the whole thing was superfluous as far as I was concerned, and I felt the fool for showing up with no concept of what it was about. My wife had a doctors appointment, they put her in a room and forgot her. She sat in there quietly for almost two hours before they remembered she was in there.
There's also this. I am used to being able to do what I want, when I want now. Having to be somewhere at a given time, and then being bossed around and told to do this and do that, is aggravating in the extreme. I have gotten out of the habit of being ordered about and I have a hard time staying civil.
Fortunately this coming week, I have nowhere I have to be at any given time, no car repair appointments, no dental visits, no doctor visits. Maybe it will be a better week. This gas thing should be interesting to watch. I have been listening to my scanner tonight and people are already out siphoning gas out of parked vehicles. It's unlikely to be Seniors doing that, but we have a district of the county known unofficially as "bare knuckle alley" and I'm sure as soon as it got dark those good people were out with can and hose doing a booming business.
Thought for the Day:
You just never know what's going to crawl up out of the swamp and bite you in the derriere .