An email from Longtime Friend & Reader PeteG contained the following:

“A friend is trying to get some local Media Darlings to take him up on a bet and all they do is hang up on him. The bet?
“$2500 in ready on-hand cash, even odds, that if Chauvin is found not guilty Black Lives Matter and Antifa run out of rioters, looters and arsonists before store owners and homeowners run out of ammunition.”

Which inspired this:

So… how are y’all planning to celebrate Chauvin Not Guilty Day?


I’ve mentioned this bad boy in the past as a worthwhile addition to a SHTF bag:

I see it as an axe, a hammer, a nail-puller and, in fact, a fairly decent weapon.  All for under $40.

Walmart has the Estwing version — all-metal, for half a dozen bucks more.

Both are made in the U.S., so that’s all good.  My only word of advice is that you may want to touch up the axe blade of each one a tad, as I did mine (I have two in my SHTF bag) — they’re rigger’s hatchets, not woodsman’s.

Suspended Plans

It looked as though New Wife and I would be able to move back into our apartment around next Monday (March 8), but that was before we went back there yesterday evening to get a few things.  Here’s what greeted us, firstly the living room:

…and the laminate flooring has gone bye-bye too.  Next, the entrance hall:

And finally, the master bedroom:

…but amazingly, the carpet (which was soaked) is being covered up to protect it from the carnage — which means they don’t plan on replacing it.  Uh huh.  Time for a little explanation of the facts of life to Management…

But it looks as though month-end will be a more realistic move-in time, now.

And once again, folks:  Thank you all so much for your unbelievable generosity.  It has made all the difference, by enabling us to order replacement furniture and such before the insurance company made its final settlement offer — the excellent news being that we’ll be getting a full settlement of our stated replacement value, and the funds will arrive either tomorrow or the next day.  But having that little bit of financial security immediately after the catastrophe made all the difference to our mental well-being, and we are eternally grateful.

Open Letter To

Now that things have returned to normal (ice melted, water restored, power turned back on), we need to look very hard at ourselves and make sure that none of the past month’s nonsense ever happens again in Texas.  In case the Big Brains haven’t figured it out yet, let’s look at the problems and their solutions.  First, the overriding principle:

Texas needs to become completely self-sufficient in power generation.  That includes during times of inclement weather such as we’ve just had.

1.)  Wind power fails in a crisis.  That’s not an assertion, that’s a truism, and it’s not just true in Texas:  it’s true everywhere in the world.  So if we’re going to continue to generate power from wind, that power needs to be sold outside the state to, say, California [irony alert] because they apparently love the stuff.  But not a single part of the Texas energy supply should come from wind power, ever again.

This means that to replace wind power as part of our energy supply system, we have to build more gas-powered and nuclear power stations.  And we need to do it quickly, in the next couple of years.  But before anyone starts blathering on about environmental regulations as excuses for not getting it done, here’s the mandate:  get it done or we’ll elect people who can.

2.)  Texas has its own electricity distribution grid, and it sucks — once again, a statement of fact.  Texans don’t want to hear about pipelines freezing or cables breaking because of extreme cold, ever again.  When it gets cold — and no matter how cold it gets — Texas needs to continue functioning.  Our energy transmission grid needs to be made bullet-proof.

3.)  All of this is going to cost money.  Don’t care.  We also know that a lot of people have a lot of money and political capital invested in the “renewable” power generation business, and we don’t care about them either.  Find the money by cutting pork-barrel expenditure items from the Texas budget — if you need to know where they are, ask Dan Crenshaw for a list, because I bet he has one — or else, lean on the utility companies to get their own house in order, because apparently they’ve been unable to do it for themselves.  And if they do, that can’t come at the expense of higher utility bills.  We pay enough for electricity already, and given the energy resources Texas has at its disposal, we should be paying even less.  (And while you’re there, eliminate this nonsense.)

4.)  Pass legislation that enables all the above.  Generally speaking, we don’t like our state legislature to pass that many laws (see:  biannual legislature sessions, two-year budgets), but this is one time we’ll make an exception.  If you can get everything done under existing legislation, fine.  If not, pass the laws to enable them.

Texans are proud bunch, and when we see statistics like “3 million people have no electricity in the United States;  2.3 million of them live in Texas”, that pisses us off, big time.  Not having heat, water or power in our homes when it’s 15°F outside is not acceptable.  Just to hammer the nail in up to the head:  we’re talking millions of pissed-off voters.

I know that in any financial system there’s a calculus that says you can’t budget for extremes.  It’s the reason why Brownsville, for example, has no supplies of road salt and no trucks to scatter it on icy roads.  I’m not talking about that.  What I’m stating is that electricity is not a luxury, it’s a necessity — and it’s exponentially more necessary in inclement weather.

As a rule, I ignore the disaster weenies who are always forecasting doom because of climate change, wild swings in weather conditions and so on.  While their stupid predictions are not worth thinking about, the inescapable fact is that the Big Freeze of February 2021 has exposed our vulnerability and the fragility of our energy supply grid.  This time it was freakish weather, but that doesn’t mean it will never happen again.  The consequences of failure are too great for us to do nothing, and hope that the law of averages will come to our rescue in the future, because if averages tell us anything, it’s not to rely on them.  A polar freeze which happens every fifty years on average means that you could have one every year for the next ten years and not another one for the next five hundred.  That’s the way to look at averages, and it’s no way to gamble with the well-being of your citizens and the state economy.

Get it done.  And don’t even think of imposing a state income tax to raise the money — I shouldn’t even have to mention it, but some idiot will.

Lessons Learned

Now that the waters have receded (from our apartment) and the ice has melted (from the Great Texas Polar Event of 2021), here are a couple of things I’ve learned from the experience.

1.)  You cannot have too many flashlights, lanterns or batteries.  Seriously.  When our power went out, I was three lanterns short, and I kept misplacing my goddamn flashlight — you know, you put it down to carry a bucket of floodwater outside, then can’t find the thing when you come back into a darkened room.

Addendum:  You don’t need trillions of candlepower to get by.  Seriously, again.  In fact, my trusty Surefire was often too bright, its beam blinding me when bouncing off a mirror or white wall.

Next steps:  I’m going to get at least three more battery-operated lanterns like this one:

I already have one of these, and for long life and adequate lighting, it’s the best:  it saw me through the last Plano power outage (5 days) back in 2016.

As for flashlights, I’m going to get a bunch of these Maglite 3C bad boys:

I used to pack one on hunts and camping trips back in South Africa, and over about five years it never broke, flickered or burned out — and those were the days before LED bulbs, even.  (I can’t believe that I don’t own one now, come to think of it. ) There is going to be at least one in every room in the house, and in each car as well.  (Note:  I already own a sufficiency of “tactical” Surefire and Fenix flashlights, and also a couple headlight types as well.)

I’m also going to get a lanyard to hang a smaller Maglite around my neck, just in case.

2.)  My little butane cooking stove was completely inadequate to cook anything outside — the wind kept blowing the flame out, and even in calm conditions, it took over half an hour to boil a single pot of water, because butane sucks under frigid conditions.  Here’s the offending object:

Next steps:  what I’m going to get is a sturdy camp stove, like this one:

…which uses Coleman Fuel, white gas* or in a pinch, even gasoline (which I always have on hand in a spare fuel can).  Or I might just go crazy and get one of these:

I don’t care much about portability because it’s for in-home emergencies like we just endured.

Conclusion:  it doesn’t seem to matter how well prepared you think you are — I certainly wasn’t, even though I thought otherwise.  (I didn’t run out of batteries, which is the only good thing about the whole sorry business.)  Next time will be better, I hope.

*Coleman Fuel and white gas are almost the same, except that white gas, while cheaper, doesn’t have the extra stabilizers and corrosion-preventatives that the branded Coleman Fuel contains.  Even so, either will last up to ten years in an unopened container.

Interesting Perspective

A lot of talk is centering around the Biden/Harris/Beto’s threats to disarm America.  Several people have talked about this in Doomsday terms, e.g. in the Third World:

and in Nazi Germany (same link):

I’m not going to suggest that this stuff never happened, because that would be stupid.  Leftists attempt to deny history, and I don’t.

That said:  I think that in order for a government to get its civilian populace disarmed, one of two conditions need to be in existence.

Firstly, this works in the Third World (Africa, S.E. Asia, etc.) where the population is scattered, impoverished and not very connected by media.  Under these conditions, it’s quite easy for the government to send out truckloads of soldiers to village after village to round up the guns.  In many cases, the gun owners aren’t aware that the raids are beginning or if they are, it’s too late and they’re too disorganized to devise some system to hide their guns or to organize resistance.  And the very isolation of the population groups (by distance, desert or forest) adds to the ease for the government to do, well, anything (and not just gun confiscation) to their hapless citizens.

That’s not the situation facing a Marxist government like the Biden/Harris/Beto model.  Gun owners in the U.S. are aware, connected and not easily cowed.  Surprise may be achieved once, but only once before the word gets out and the job becomes not only more difficult, but a lot more difficult.

The other situation where gun control works is in a Western country — e.g. Germany or the U.K. — where the population is subservient by nature, and where disarmament can begin first with registration and later with door-to-door confiscation raids by the police.

That may work in Europe, but the snarling gun-owning population is the U.S. is anything but subservient.  They’re actively hostile and willing to resist even “commonsense” policies like gun registration.  (As was shown recently in Connecticut, the bluest of blue states, where governmental attempts to register AR-15s resulted in perhaps 5% compliance, and even that’s just a guess.  Imagine the success rate of handgun registration or hunting — “sniper” — rifle registration…)

Even statewide gun control fails, as evidenced by the continuous wails of neo-Marxist governments like those of Illinois and New York complaining of the flow of “illegal” and unregistered guns from neighboring states like Indiana and Virginia respectively.

I’m not saying that attempts at confiscation aren’t going to happen.  Anything is possible with these bastards.  But if Marxists are good at anything, it’s trying to suppress human nature and in our case, Constitutional protections, because as with all things Commie, the results are irrelevant as long as the doctrine is followed.

What I am saying is that it’s not going to be as easy as they seem to think.  In fact, it’s going to be exponentially more difficult than they think, and a tremendous amount of blood is going to be spilled, probably on both sides.  In the end, the side which prevails will be the side with the greater devotion to their particular ideal, and the guts to push it, or resist the other’s, as hard as possible.

That’s enough talk.  I’m off to the range. There’s ammo to be tested, and practice to be done.