What’s wrong with the Texas grid?

On Monday, the state’s grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), issued a plea for help. The grid was once again running short on power and to avoid blackouts, the state’s least understood, most hated entity needed Texans to once again curtail their electricity usage. As ERCOT explained, some 11,000 megawatts—enough to power more than two million homes—had inexplicably tripped off-line just as the heat of summer started to set in across the state.

ERCOT vice president Woody Rickerson said in a statement that it wasn’t immediately clear why so many generating plants had “forced outages,” meaning they needed unplanned repairs, and then noted that “this is unusual for this early in the summer season.” What’s not unusual is the number of high-profile flops by the Texas power grid this year. The prospect of running low on electricity comes just four months after the grid failed during February’s winter storm…

Put simply, our electric system can’t deliver the power we need when we need it most. Fixing that fatal flaw is going to be extremely difficult, and our politicians don’t do difficult. They prefer to rush to safe havens like Fox News to scapegoat renewable energy sources, or distract us with calls for a GoFundMe border wall. What bills they actually pass are little more than Band-Aids to address their past mistakes…

Sounds like Texas to me. Actually, it sounds like many state legislatures and the big flophouse in Washington, DC. Folks are starting to talk about a Third Party. Maybe not capable of replacing one of the two old parties; but, maybe enough to scare the crap out of one or the other to start taking care of business.

“Clarice” is a mediocre TV spinoff from a great movie

I admit I didn’t take enough time looking for reviews of “Clarice”. After trying to watch episode 1, tonight, I probably should have looked beyond USAToday. Generally, reliable. But, more sophisticated, intricate, might have kept me from wasting a half-hour in front of the TV, tonight.

Yes, the episode is longer than that. I just couldn’t stay with a season opener that could have been something more than crap. Here’s the link to the USAToday review.

In one sentence, I blame the producer/director combo who evidently “guided” the writing into something trite, predictable, and pissed me off enough that I couldn’t find it in me to watch all the way through.

The writing was competent, well-crafted, un-windy. Story line a mediocrity.

Quality infrastructure maintenance


Click to enlarge

No injuries were reported when a Union Pacific train derailed and caught fire on a bridge over Tempe Town Lake in Arizona, officials said Wednesday.

Plumes of smoke could be seen rising into the morning sky beneath a trail of flames on video and images from the site of the derailment, where part of the bridge collapsed.
The train was hauling unknown hazardous material, according to the Tempe Fire Department.

One section of the Salt River Union Pacific Bridge — which was built in 1912 — had completely collapsed just on the side of the lake, with some of the train cars detached and on the ground.

Quality infrastructure maintenance — How NOT to do it!

Feds supply Yankee Stadium rain ponchos for hospital workers’ PPE

Desperate times call for desperate measures. But this is just plain wrong.

A doctor at a hospital in New York City tweeted a photo Tuesday of the coronavirus PPE (personal protective equipment) she was issued.

I’m a physician at a hospital in NYC and THIS IS THE “PPE” I WAS JUST HANDED for my shift. Our federal government has completely failed its health care workers. #GetUsPPE

That’s how bad the coronavirus pandemic has become. Medical supplies are in such short supply and high demand that the doctors and nurses working on the front lines in hospitals are being asked to protect themselves from a deadly virus with something that doesn’t even keep people dry at Yankee Stadium.

And Trump probably took a commission for the shipment from the Yankees’ PR budget.

Crap survey says Corona beer sales crashing from coronavirus fears

Some American beer drinkers are allegedly avoiding Corona beer amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak–at least according to a controversial new survey.

38 percent of beer drinkers surveyed reportedly insisted they would not, under any circumstances, buy Corona as the highly-publicized virus spreads across the globe, according to the survey conducted by 5W Public Relations, via the New York Post…

Of course, despite some people frantically searching a connection between the easy-drinking Mexican beer and the feared virus on Google, there is no connection between Corona beer and coronavirus — except for the name.

But this connection is manufactured, and [the survey] is ignoring far more mundane reasons Americans might not buy a Corona, including that they don’t like the taste. Of those Americans who did report regularly drinking Corona, only 4 percent said they would now stop drinking the beer.

So while everyone should be washing their hands frequently and taking all the precautions suggested by the CDC to avoid contracting Coronavirus, it looks like we can all continue to drink as much Corona beer as we want.

I am surprised the reported number is only 4%. This is a nation that handed the presidency over to numbnuts. Perhaps there is hope for us, after all.

When ignorant peasants vote to kill their children…

Over and over again, fools who think flags and fake presidents will bring them the riches and power reserved only for those who actually own America…get what history reserves for those who believe in patriotism over peace, slogans instead of the steady march of science and technology, peasant ideology over knowledge, collaborating with political thugs who twist and bend life into death.

Most expensive fighter ever — F-35 Ejection Seats will only harm a couple dozen pilots 1st year in service

❝ The F-35 fighter jets’ flawed ejection seats, which Air Force officials said in May had been fixed, still pose a “serious” risk that will probably injure or kill nearly two dozen pilots, according to an internal Air Force safety report that service officials withheld from the press.

The F-35 Joint Program Office — which runs the $406.5 billion initiative, the most expensive weapons program in history — has declined to try to save those lives by conducting less than a year’s worth of additional testing that would cost a relatively paltry few million dollars, the report shows…

❝ Specifically, the 2015 tests indicated 98 percent “probability of fatal injury” for pilots weighing less than 135 pounds when ejecting from the original seat when the jet was too low to the ground to cushion the force of the ejection by the smaller parachute, according to the internal documents.

For pilots weighing up to 165 pounds, there was a nearly one in four chance of fatal injury, the documents showed. In Air Force press releases, that was described merely as “elevated” risk

❝ New F-35s will have the somewhat improved seats, but all but four of the 235 jets that pilots are flying today have yet to be modified…

But, the military-industrial complex is making a boatload of money. Which do you think counts more with the Pentagon or Congress. Profits or pilots?