When the power goes out…

You’re never ready for the unexpected. But you can try to be prepared.

After water, food , shelter in that order, comes electricity. Having lived through a number of hurricane outages, we have installed a generator that runs on natural gas. As backup, we have a solar panel rechargeable battery system. We keep a Starlink around for an internet connection. There is a rain barrel connected to a gutter from the roof. It’s like insurance. You hope you’ll never need it, but you can sleep at night. If you realize how vulnerable is the Grid that we depend on, then you should get prepared now. Maybe you will after reading this article.

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MAY 31 ∙ PREVIEW      

If the English language made any sense, lackadaisical would have something to do with a shortage of flowers.” – Doug Larson

At the outset of 1998, a series of devastating ice storms blanketed much of lower Quebec and parts of neighboring provinces with a previously unfathomable deluge of freezing rain. While mere millimeters of solid ice can be enough to disrupt road travel and collapse trees, vast swaths of the region experienced several inches of the stuff in five compounding waves. For Hydro-Québec, the province’s power producer, the storms resulted in countless transformer explosions, “400 damaged transmission towers, 24,000 power poles to be replaced, 120,000 km of downed power lines and roughly1.4 million customers in the dark for almost a month.” The devastation was most acute just east of Montreal inside the triangle formed by the cities of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Granby, and Saint-Hyacinthe—a zone dubbed the Le “Triangle Noir” as the catastrophe dragged on. Frozen hell | Hydro-Québec

Although the brunt of the event was felt in Canada, parts of New England were also severely impacted. In Maine, some 700,000 of the state’s 1.2 million residents lost electricity, necessitating the activation of the Maine National Guard. It took 23 days and the assistance of hundreds of crews from around the country to fully restore power. Devastation in Maine | AP As disastrous as the Great Ice Storm of 1998

was for local utilities and the populations they served, one shudders to ponder the consequences should a similar event unfold in a high-population area of the US today. Take the I-95 corridor—sometimes called the Northeast megalopolis—which stretches from Washington, DC to Boston and experiences its fair share of freak winter storms. While its 50 million residents undoubtedly pride themselves on their ability to power through whatever Mother Nature throws at them, no grid could withstand the relentless onslaught of ice like what occurred 25 years ago. To a rough approximation, the area encompassed by the Le “Triangle Noir” alone would cover all five boroughs of the city of New York. Imagine the Big Apple without power for a month in the dead of winter. Now consider that a month might be wildly optimistic. For years, a burgeoning supply chain crisis has been plaguing the US power industry, straining grid reliability just as the pursuit of the Green Energy Utopia™ is stretching this hallmark of the developed world to a breaking point. A chronic shortage of transformers can no longer be ignored, and in a letter to federal lawmakers in November, the electric utility sector bluntly sounded the alarm (emphasis added throughout): “Throughout 2022, the electric sector and representatives from residential and commercial building sectors have been calling attention to the unprecedented supply chain challenges both industries have been facing in procuring equipment used to maintain and grow the electric grid.Specifically, electric utilities continue to have significant problems in procuring basic equipment – particularly distribution transformers – needed to operate the grid, provide reliable electric service, and restore power following severe storms and natural disasters. In housing construction, this is further exacerbating their ability to address the housing affordability crisis facing our nation…. Between 2020 and 2022, average lead times to procure distribution transformers across all segments of the electric industry and voltage classes rose 443 percent. The same orders that previously took two to four months to fill are now taking on average over a year. This is a serious threat to reliability.” Transformers play an essential role in enabling our modern standard of living. To transport electricity over vast distances at reasonable efficiency, stations must generate power at extremely high voltages. Before such electricity can be safely used in the home, it needs to be stepped down—transformed—to the standard 240 volts around which the US economy is designed. (This is further split at a home’s main circuit breaker panel into two 120-volt halves, called phases.) Distribution transformers—the equipment in short supply that most concerns the utility sector—provide the final voltage transformation in the electric power distribution system, connecting homes to the juice that powers everything. Unsung heroes to our way of life | Getty

The letter’s signatories request a $1 billion appropriation towards transformer production via the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate supply. Despite the industry’s urgent call for resources, the Department of Energy is making decisions that will only accelerate the crisis. Let’s dig into the industry’s claims, the administration’s exacerbating policy decisions, and most importantly, the preparatory measures homeowners can take ahead of a major disruption.


My Long Covid Story

Hyperbaric Chambers at Fantastic Wellness Center in West Palm Beach, Fl.

We may think COVID is over, but tell that to COVID.

Everybody’s COVID story is different. Here’s mine.

At the 2020 Super Bowl in Miami, I shared popcorn with the guy from San Francisco sitting next to me. At the time, COVID had supposedly only appeared in the Pacific Northwest. it was only later that it was discovered that it had already arrived by then in San Francisco.

When I got sick a few days later, my doctor gave me a flu test, which turned out negative. Over the next few days, as I lay on the couch during the day, I came to feel like what it must be to know that you are dying of a disease. It took me 6 months to fully recover back to my old self. It was great to finally be able to do all the active sports that I enjoyed now that I am retired and have the time.

I am a very active 73-year-old. I love to kiteboard in the ocean and paddle surf waves. I play tennis at least once a week and work out at the gym with a trainer for 90 minutes 3 days a week. So I’m in good shape.

A year ago, I drove over to Sarasota Florida for a memorial service for one of my cousins. I was one of the three attendees that came down with COVID. This COVID was just a bad cold. I took Paxlovid. After the regimen was over, I felt good enough; that for three or four days, my wife Maria and I went out and did things together again.

Then I got the dreaded rebound. This round was actually worse. I never seem to actually gotten over it for the last year. Yes, I had brief times, where I thought I was getting back to my old self and started doing all my favorite things outdoors. But this time was different. For the first time in my life, I developed asthma. I still have an annoying persistent COVID cough, even while using a daily inhale of Trelegy, which costs an eye-popping $625 for a one month supply. Now my trainer actually had to keep a handful of Kleenex handy for all the expectorant that I coughed up. You can be sure all the other people in the gym looked at me like Typhoid Mary. But I was testing negative for COVID. I was fully boosted with all of the Pfizer vaccines and supplemental boosters. My workouts exhausted me. When my wife finally got Covid, for the first time last month, I took no precautions; because my doctor had pointed out that I had enough anti-bodies for an elephant.

I’ve been going to a functional medicine doctor. She is a colorectal surgeon, who found that if she got her patients bio gut straightened out, she didn’t have to operate, except in maybe 20% of the cases. Every 6 months she draws a prodigious amount of blood, takes urine and fecal samples and sends them away to state-of-the-art labs. Most blood tests spin out the platelets, but one of the labs actually tries to figure out how much of the nutrition in your body is actually getting through the cell walls and measures it.

She had been able able to get my body to stop producing painful kidney stones, which were afflicting me on a frequent basis. Now she noticed, after this recent bout of COVID, that my Epstein-Barr virus had been triggered. If you have ever had mononucleosis, then you are still harboring the Epstein-Barr virus in your body. COVID triggered it and it came on with a vengeance. Where at one time it measured at only 18, now I was getting readings of 300 to 600 and the subsequent chronic fatigue. My white blood cell count was low and other vitamins and minerals were not in my usual balance.

Over the past year, whenever I got tired and run down, it seems the Epstein-Barr would fire back up again. Since this last time, from a little over a month ago, I haven’t been able to bounce back again. It appears I have developed what is called PEM (post-exercise malaise). Now, if if you’re feeling tired and run down you must be out of shape therefore got to toughen up and work out. It turns out that is the worst thing to do. Research indicates that PEM often affects Type A athletes. I have an athlete’s heartbeat that normally is around 45 now my resting heart rate is up in the low to mid-50s. My oxygen level which used to be 98 to 99 is in the low to mid-90s now.

Some research indicates that the flow of oxygen from the lungs into the blood is interfered with by nodules forming on its blood vessels. So I’m trying an experimental treatment to try and break those nodules free. Every weekday I go down the equivalent of 45 ft underwater in a hyperbaric chamber for an hour breathing 100% pure oxygen. When back I come up, my oxygen level is back to 98 or 99. Before I go in it’s 93% or 95%. Now that improvement doesn’t last all day but I’m hoping that over time it’ll eventually improve my condition.

Some reports of relief indicate that it doesn’t last. Hey, but at this point I’m willing to try anything. Yale researchers are pointing to a 5 to 10 day additional course of Paxlovid appears to help. I’ll consult with my doctor on that course of treatment.

There is no clear number on how many people have long covid, because the government doesn’t track it. Some estimates are as high as 30% of infected people have lingering symptoms in some form. There attempts being made to add Long Covid to the list of tracked diseases that the your doctor can check off. Insurance companies are fighting are fighting it, because if it becomes a recognized disease, then they would have to cover it. I’m fortunate enough to be able to afford the $2,750 for 10 Dives in a hyperbaric chamber. Hopefully it’ll be worth it.

Why Not Being Able to make Alliances Destroys Aspiring Autocratic Empires

Russia is the last Colonial Empire; having conquered, at one time or another, most of her neighbors, many of whom are still subjects. China is the latest wanna be colonial power with their floundering Belt and Road initiative. This article points out a fatal flaw in their plans for world domination that has reoccurred throughout history.

Flesh Eating Bacteria Found in Sargassum


‘Pathogen’ Storm: Vibrio Bacteria, Sargassum and Plastic Marine Debris

Beach, Sargassum, Seaweed, Brown Microalgae, Vibrio, Plastic Marine Debris, Public Health, Florida

Some cultivation-based data show beached Sargassum appear to harbor high amounts of Vibrio bacteria. (Photo credit: Brian Lapointe, FAU Harbor Branch)

By gisele galoustian | 5/18/2023

A new study uncovers how the interplay between Sargassum spp., plastic marine debris and Vibrio bacteria creates the perfect “pathogen” storm that has implications for both marine life and public health. Vibrio bacteria are found in waters around the world and are the dominant cause of death in humans from the marine environment. For example, Vibrio vulnificus, sometimes referred to as flesh-eating bacteria, can cause life-threatening foodborne illnesses from seafood consumption as well as disease and death from open wound infections.

Since 2011, Sargassum, free-living populations of brown macroalga, have been rapidly expanding in the Sargasso Sea and other parts of the open ocean such as the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt, including frequent and unprecedented seaweed accumulation events on beaches. Plastic marine debris, first found in surface waters of the Sargasso Sea, has become a worldwide concern, and is known to persist decades longer than natural substrates in the marine environment.

Currently, little is known about the ecological relationship of vibrios with Sargassum. Moreover, genomic and metagenomic evidence has been lacking as to whether vibrios colonizing plastic marine debris and Sargassum could potentially infect humans. As summer kicks into high gear and efforts are underway to find innovative solutions to repurpose Sargassum, could these substrates pose a triple threat to public health?

Maasai Are Getting Pushed Off Their Land So Dubai Royalty Can Shoot Lions

Tanzania’s government wants big tourism money. Herders don’t want to lose their livelihood


A friend from Tanzania had this response to this outrage…

Started Last year, they started moving villages out of the reserve when they have been living for 100’s of years, some refused and had to be moved by force. Very Sad story, and not the first time. They even had big middle east military plane suspected to be loaded with wildlife for Zoos in Emirates.

T.I.A (That Is Africa)

Critics have argued that the Tanzanian government doesn’t want Maasai herding cattle where safari-goers expect to see giraffes and elephants.

As noted in this Bloomberg article

Scientists insist proper land use planning could have helped avoid today’s conflicts, and conservationists say photographic tourism concessions would bring far more money into the state budget than hunting, leading to suspicions that the corruption uncovered in 1996 and 2017 persists. 

One Masai, who has an Economics degree pointed out that…

Uneducated Maasai women have few options beyond marriage, and in polygamist societies, that often means as a second or third wife. Since women in such situations compete for status by having more children, “if you want to depopulate this area, just educate every Maasai girl to university level,” he says. “It’ll be solved in 15 years.”

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