Truth.

"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."

Ariel Durant

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Black Swan mini


"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."






 Listening to the CB radio on SSB , I heard two fellows talking about gasoline shortages up here in North Georgia. One of them had gone to Cornelia , and on trying to get back, he found there was no gas to be had at the Ingles in Cornelia, nor in Cleveland. I assumed Ingles, which is a big grocery chain here, had simply messed up their order or had some kind of dispute with their supplier.



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 .



32 comments:

  1. It will be interesting to see what the cause was of the leak. And why it took so long for anyone to find it.

    And the media will ignore anything right now in order to focus on Trump. They went ape-shit over him fooling them over his 'birther' press conference, and totally went over the wall after he showed up in Miami with the 'Les Deplorables' backdrop. Not to mention going to Little Haiti and hearing the woes about the wonderfully charitable Clinton Foundation's performance in Big Haiti.

    Gotta say one thing about Trump, he's good at changing life-long Demo voters into thinking creatures.

    Glad you and yours are okay. Hang in there.

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    1. This same thing happened with the same pipeline about twelve years or so ago. The people who operate it don't seem to do a lot of on the ground checking. The company I worked for owned a 26 mile pipeline in Pennsylvania. Admittedly, not as much of a challenge as something the size of this one. But it was checked twice daily, the full length, by a man in a truck. We never had a spill.

      I've been listening to all that squalling and whining. I think the Dims have overdone it, like the little boy who cried wolf. Nobody except true believers listens to them anymore and the people who do are going to vote for Shrillery no matter what anyway.

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  2. The problem is, with all the alcohol they put in gas these days, it doesn't store well, and I think that's done on purpose.

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    1. There's a station in town that sells ethanol free gas. When I am filling my Jerry cans, I buy that. Gas stored in cans will keep a good long while, with additives, but not nearly so long as diesel.

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  3. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)


    Normally I'm not a big cartoon guy but the one with 'Hiesenberg and Jesse' was brilliant. 'Say my name' H i e s e n b e g.

    There are a few good shows out there but nothing on the scale of 'Breaking Bad' 'Nothing cooler than a pissed off, really smart old white guy'

    As of this writing at 4:34 AM central time there where two blasts, New York and New Jersey and one pressure cooker IED device found (UXB) in New York.

    I am surprisingly 'un-suprised. Probably an upset muslim from Syria or a cantankerous Cechnian from Chechnia with an axe to grind over Jews eating Hummis on the Sabbath.

    Whatever the case may be, I fear random attacks will become more common in America as they are overseas. This will equal more police state, fewer liberties and more pissed off normal americans for letting even more potential aggressors onto our shores under the further eroding our culture and American ethnicity.

    I am an 'Unapologetic Cultural Ethnocentrist' that believes my cultural is superior to Islamic 7th century barbarianism and that threatens to engulf the world in another 'thousand year dark age'

    Now onto the gasoline shortage.

    I remember the gas lines in the early 1970's. I was young at the time so my memory is only fragments but the potential for a nationwide shutdown of fuel is a reality that no one can come to grips with.

    In South Texas most of our economy is centered around oil of course. One friend works at a major gasoline production refinery so I know whats going on. The bottle neck in the South is the pipeline of course. All I can say is the wise one's keep fuel and supplies on hand. This is one time I would not be ashamed of owning a Toyota Prius. I don't own one but if I did own a Prius or one of the better hybrids in the South. I'd be a happy camper right now.

    Fuel shortages will also be common place in the future. The debacle in Syria is over fuel. Europe is tired of being bent over the barrel by Russia and is attempting to procure its own fuel from pipelines in Syria with the source of the oil in Iraq, Iran, and Suadi Arabia.

    In writing all this I just had an epiphany that I wish I had 'Star Trek' technology so I could leave this planet and set up shop on Mars, declare independence and never return to Earth.

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    1. I was in college in 1973, in Albuquerque. I remember when the Sand People cut off the flow of oil to us, and what a major issue it became. I had a 1958 Volkswagen at the time, but the average vehicle of that period was not designed with gas efficiency in mind, to say the least.

      Even Fox is playing down the bombs at the running race and in NY. The media is trying to play it as if it was just "vandalism." Geraldo Rivera used that word to describe what happened.

      Some Moslem in Minnesota attacked people in a mall with a knife, the same style attack as has been happening in Israel for some time. He was shouting "Allah Akbar", and asking people if they were Moslems before the stabbed them. The press is saying the attack "apparently had no ties to terrorism." Oh, whatever....

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    2. and they said the stabber was shot by police. but it was an off duty officer from another city shopping at the mall that got him. police were several minutes behind....

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    3. This is the Palestinian template, the one they use against Israel. Some moronic kid with a knife costs them nothing, and they usually manage to kill or maim someone before they are killed. I'm sure we will see a lot more of this here. It unnerves people, frightens them, and costs the terrorists nothing at all.

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  4. Gas shortages in the South, bombings in NYC, shooting in a Minnesota mall-how in the world can people just sit and act as though everything is wonderful? No need to think about preparing for emergency situations; nothing bad will happen, etc., etc. I am glad that you are on your mountaintop, fully prepared and away from the craziness. More and more, I find that I do not want to venture away from my home. Jana

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    1. Home is the best place to be when something goes badly wrong, assuming you don't live in an apartment in a major city, anyway.

      I'm just watching all this going on and not getting too fussed about it. What's going to happen, will happen. Maybe I am becoming a fatalist.

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  5. best to have one prescription worth of meds ahead. but always order on time so you can stay ahead.

    sometimes the pharmacy is out of your med and don't know when they'll get any, so if you can afford it it is best to have extra always, even when there is no emergency.
    almanac says severe winter everywhere except extreme west. have what you need to hole up by the end of october.

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    1. We get 90 days filled at a time. We get three refills between visits to the doctor for "lab tests." My wife just didn't bother to get hers filled when she should have. This is a constant thing with us, and it gets very annoying in circumstances like yesterday.

      Leaves are already changing here.

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    2. Harry, have your wife or you use a calendar reminder in your phone or on your computer, or, you know, actually on a calendar, for your prescription reminders. Just like paying bills, it has to be done on time, especially now with all the new regs from the government (just try to get pain pills filled earlier than 28 days from the last time the prescription was filled.)

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    3. We do have a calendar on the computer, but my wife has a real tendency to figure if she has 30 days of pills left, we can let picking up more slide. Our prescriptions are filled for 90 days. I have tried to keep us at 60 days plus as a minimum, but we don't always manage it. She had plenty for the rest of the month, but we wanted to get back up to 90 days with all this going on. You never know what will happen when something effects transportation.

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  6. .missed your post about the gang bumping your truck.
    must have been when i was in hospital.
    our nation appears to be doomed.

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    1. That was a long time ago. Haven't had anything like that happen to me since the four "bloods" got in my face in Chattanooga. They won't get the chance to play that game again since I'm not going back there.

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  7. If you are really stuck for gas Coleman fuel works in a car. It's expensive, but so is being stuck on the side of the road. Used that trick once myself. Everything was closed in a huge snowstorm. I used Coleman fuel from my camping gear. Emptied a 1 gallon can and two stoves worth into the tank. It made the difference between spending the night in a hotel or at the side of the road.

    I use waste veggie oil in my van, but it needs a heated tank. However, you can get away with using just plain veggie oil from the grocery store in a regular diesel vehicle. It helps if you still have some diesel in the tank to cut it with. Also, the engine has to be hot already. Somewhere along the line you'd better fill up with diesel to flush most of the veggie out of the engine. If you don't it will be a bear to start it again. Don't try this in cold weather. You are also going to have to replace your fuel filter soon as veggie cleans gunk out of the engine and fuel system and it needs to go somewhere.

    These aren't ideal solutions, but they will get you home.

    Oh yeah, diesels will also run on K1, heating oil and even hydrolic fluid.

    You do what you have to do to get where you need to go.

    Of course, having a bit of stabilized fuel stored is the best solution. Sometimes, however, we get caught flat footed.

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    1. I keep two big 500 gallon tanks of diesel here at the place, mainly because my generator runs off it. I could use it in the truck in an emergency, but if I got caught they'd confiscate the truck. Off road diesel has red dye in it, and they have these little bureaucrats who drive around in white Crown Vics with Georgia Department of Transportation on them. They stop trucks and check. Mostly big 18 wheelers though, not pickups.

      I really need a deuce and a half, with their multifuel engines. The last American Survival Guide had a great article about where you can buy surplus deuce and a halfs, and how you can modify them.

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    2. Hey Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      Yeah' get a deuce and half. It would make the trip to the mailbox in the winter very interesting and fun. The ultimate man toy, a deuce and half:)

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    3. Well, I'd like to have one. Problem is, I have no place to put one. There are three parking pads here. One has the Jeep on it. One has the truck on it. And one I use to turn around in. If I got a deuce and a half up here, I'd have to drive it out into the meadow to turn around, like the gas truck has to do. If it has been raining or is snowing, you can't do that.

      I was surprised at how cheaply you could buy a surplus truck in good shape. The old deuce and a half is a great vehicle and apparently they are flooding the market as they are finally being phased out of the active forces.

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    4. Harry, get yourself a military Mule like they used in Vietnam. http://armyjeeps.net/vehicle1.htm

      Big enough to carry everything you need, small enough to easily handle in tight spaces. And it comes with a .50 cal rifle.

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    5. I saw the Mule while I was in the Marines. Ours had recoiless rifles on them instead of the mg, but just about any configuration was possible. Good vehicles, long gone now.

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  8. You just got a taste of what people are really like when inconvenienced for a short period of time. I shudder to think what will happen if and when the pharmacy closes down for a week.

    We are living in an insane world where the MSM has completely ignored this story. I suppose if WWIII breaks out we can only expect more Barry birther crap. Move along folks...nothing to see here! --Troy

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    1. I thought it was pretty strange that this only got a 5 second drive by on the national news, while the "birther" story got 3 minutes. But I have to remind myself that the MSM is about propaganda, not about "news."

      I don't know what's going on in town today. Left the CB on for awhile, but nobody came up on the air. I can get "skip" from all over at night, but I can only pick up a few locals line of sight because of terrain masking.

      No good listening to our local radio station since this is Sunday, and it's only transmitting church services all day.

      Whenever we go through something like this here, (usually it's weather related) I am reminded of "Alas, Babylon."

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  9. Two things...first, Im surprised you're not more on top of current events. I try to watch the news a half hour every night, or at least hit the local news websites, to make sure there's nothing in my AO that needs my attetnion. Secondly, I thought for sure one of those big above-ground tanks you had was for gasoline. But, if you've got a truck that runs on diesel then I guess you're covered on the mobility front.

    Out of curiosity, do you treat the diesel with algicides or any other preservatives for storage in your climate?

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  10. I just haven't been doing much listening to news, or even reading the news on line, since my kids were here. I got out of my routine and I spend more time just reading for pleasure than anything else now. I guess I need to at least go back to listening to the nine o'clock news on the local radio station. This gas thing caught me completely by surprise. I didn't know what was going on until I asked the attendant at the third gas station we tried that there was a pipeline problem. I should have figured out there was a problem when I heard the two guys bitching on the CB, but I really didn't pay any attention to it.

    I'd be afraid to store 500 gallons of gasoline up here, especially in an above ground tank. Gasoline vapors and temps near 100 can really ruin your day. I keep those 5 gallon cans in a shack next to the meadow. I figure if they blow, I am probably screwed but then they are in the shade, and the shack is just that, so air flows freely through it. Then too, I don't even know how I would get a truck up here with gasoline in it. I can get diesel because it's used as heating fuel, and the sellers have some small rigs to reach hard to get to places like mine, fairly common in the mountains. Gasoline is a whole different kettle of fish though.

    I use Golden Eagle diesel additives both in the storage tanks and the truck. Diesel stores better than gasoline to start with, and the additives help.

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  11. Reading your description of the stores, reminded me of the book Lights Out by David Crawford. Also, I bet the gas looters won't be using hoses, but screwdrivers to puncture the gas tanks underneath, then drain into bottles, mason jars. I had to start reading books such as Crawfords, and James Wesley Rawles books, just to get
    my head to understand what could happen. I have led a very sheltered life. Now, I am more prepared.

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    1. I haven't heard of that happening yet. I would suspect that the people doing the siphoning are the folks out of the one part of the county I mentioned. They wouldn't have any compunction about stealing gas, but damaging someone's vehicle is a kind of taboo here. However, the longer the gas shortage lasts, the less people will be influenced by such scruples. I was running a google search on gas siphoning, to see if there was any mention of it in any newspapers, and I found an article entitled "the ten best ways to steal gasoline." Punching the tank was #2 on the list as I recall.

      Having lived in the third world I've got a pretty good idea of what can happen if something disturbs the natural order of things, especially in urban environments where people are packed in closely together. It's not pretty.

      Glad you are gearing up. As the Romans said so succinctly, if you want peace, prepare for war.

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    2. most recent manufacture cars have anti-syphon tanks so puncturing is the only way to get it out. sad part is they steal 5 gallons and let the rest run out on the ground.

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  12. We are still dealing with the prescription overload. Ralph got prescribed a passel of drugs and started feeling worse after he was taking them [pre diabetes] there was never discussion of any thing other than drugs. Some of the drug interfere with each other! And the waiting just makes us crazy!
    In a crash I feel for all the people who need drugs as they are going to be harder to get than food I suspect.

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    1. I've had problems with prescriptions that were not deconflicted. I had a serious incident with that very problem in 2005 that nearly did me in. Two different doctors, treating the same problem, but without consultation. I gave both of them a list of my complete prescriptions but someone in the specialists office left a medicine off the list from my primary care doctor.

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