I’m not a fan of Politico, but this is a good read. What is amazing is that there was lots of warning for this weather and power event. The outages started early and went on for about a week. I’m sure there are lots of people frozen to death out there for some reason aren’t being counted. The tepid response of the governor and other state leaders is almost bizarre, especially when compared to similar disasters like hurricanes. And then there was the parade of lies from the get-go. Again, people here are pissed. Looking like the only accountability will be at election time. One can hope …..
Month: February 2021
Texas Is a Rich State in a Rich Country, and Look What Happened
I like Ezra Klein, but I seldom read his stuff or watch him on TV. He seems to be a fairly doctrinaire lefty, which I don’t necessarily disagree with, I just don’t expect to learn anything new from him. This NYT article caught my attention, though. He does dismiss the incompetence of Texas leaders a bit too much IMO. Worth a read.
500,000 COVID-19 Deaths in the US
From the BBC. I believe this is an undercount, but we may never know. While the US data is terrible, the UK and Italy have done worse on a per-capita basis.
Covid US death toll: Imagining what 500,000 lost lives look like
The Last of the Beats
One of those people I think I would have enjoyed knowing. The end of a era.
Messing with Texas
Pretty much the whole situation summed up in one (brilliant) cartoon. From Tom Tomorrow via the Nib.
Haven’t spent much time with the mower project lately. Being below freezing for the last week put a crimp in lots of plans. Fortunately we had power for the duration, but many in Texas did not.
Today I decided to start work on direct drive, even though I’m in the middle of the blade implementation. The reason is the chain drive is slower and less reliable than I expected. I also found this adapter, a 10mm DD bore hub to be exact, that fits on my motor that ought to allow me to couple the motor directly to the old drive belt pulley. I don’t really know what I’m doing here and don’t even know what the issues are with connecting a motor shaft directly to drive shaft. I’m worried about alignment and vibration, and all I have is my usual power drill and various hand tools to do the job. Had to do a little filing to make the adapter fit. Getting everything bolted together in that tight space and finding a way to mount the motor is going to be a challenge. But hey, this is all a learning experience.
If you live in Central Texas you probably know about the H.E.B. grocery chain. I can’t think of a better run business. I know people who have had dealings with them at every level (customers, vendors, employees) and I have never heard anything bad. Heck, I’ve never heard anything but compliments. Sure, they are heavily consumer oriented in a high volume, low margin business, but why aren’t all businesses like this? From WaPo, but a story covered by all the local news outlets.
A Texas grocery store lost power and let people leave without paying. Shoppers paid it forward.
Texas Power Grid Accoutability
A good start of a reckoning by the Dallas Morning News. Sounds right to me. This part will infurirate most Texans. Wanna bet these folks are unqualified cronies, too?
“Blame the people who work for Magness, of which 20 earned more than $200,000 a year with seven getting above $300,000, two earning over $400,000 and one making $500,000, according to nonprofit ERCOT’s 2018 federal tax filing.”
No surprise Texas’ electricity system is a national laughingstock. Only customers cared, until now
This one is too good not to post. I’m sure it will disappear so I’ve copied the content below for posterity. Donald Trump Jr. is diving into the Texas power outage follies and defending Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who left the state to go on a family vacation in Cancun at the peak of the crisis. The funny part is Baby Don calls out the media for not going after the incompetence of Democratic Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Whoops. Abbott is a Republican. From Twitter.
The hypocrisy of those trying to cancel Ted Cruz who have been totally silent on their Democrat Governor’s incompetence is telling. My thoughts on the Cancún Cruz fauxoutrage! #Cruz #CancunGate is fake.
The Soviet-style Texas Power Grid
Former Texas governor and former Trump Administration Energy Secretary Rick Perry is making the rounds with outrageous statements about the failing Texas electricity grid. I can see why he is concerned as many fingers are pointing in his direction. I compared this to Chernobyl early on, in that it was the result of an entrenched and incompetent bureaucracy whose primary “freedom” seems to be freedom from oversight and responsibility. The lives of individuals effected by the unfolding disaster also seemed to be an afterthought at best, with the real focus on various political concerns. Experts have been warning about this event for over a decade. Will we see any accountability? This is Texas, and this does involve the energy industry. But people are very, very upset right now. I see this as a watershed moment. Let’s hope some actual positive change comes from this.