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Randomness XVII: The Madness of the Quorum


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10 hours ago, aku-chan said:

Alas, the modern world continues to leave me behind.

Fancied a takeaway for dinner, but nothing from the usual delivery company grabbed me, so I had a look at what different restaurants their rivals delivered, found something nice and... Couldn't make an account, both rival companies required me to have a mobile phone number.

 

In the end I settled for making a couple ham and cheese toasties.

I dunno about over there, but in the states if you send a text to a landline you get a creepy robot voice reciting the text. Which means you don’t actually need a mobile phone anyway.

 

Assuming you don’t mind the creepy robot voice.

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 With the return of the Yellow Orb That Burns and Blinds, came higher temperatures, and the thaw is beginning earlier than I thought it would...

Which means it's kinda raining in the dining room now. I got outside this afternoon and attacked the pile in the corner of the roof with a roof rake, but there is still somewhere between an inch to three inches of ice all over the roof. So I threw some hockey puck sized melting discs up there as well. 

I was hoping that instead of going down like this, that the snow would stick around until early March, where what melts during the day would not refreeze at night... but as usual the sun has foiled my plans.

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Historic moments from today's date:

  • 1885 – Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain was published in the United States.

  • 1911 – The first official flight with airmail took place from Allahabad, United Provinces, British India (now India), when Henri Pequet, a 23-year-old pilot, delivered 6,500 letters to Naini, roughly 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away.

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6 hours ago, Sylverthorne said:

... *grumble* Want. A game. I miss the Saturday game. 

 

Anybody planning to start one? I can get you two players for PF1, no problem. >.>

 

The commute might be a pain, but hey I'm sure I can round up some people here to make a group.....

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5 hours ago, Green Eyed Monster said:

It might seem that way but the last time most of Texas saw weather this cold was circa 1989.

We are in what is called the Maunder Minimum,  named for the scientist that correctly plotted the cyclical nature of the sun's output.  It's a roughly 11 year cycle where the suns output goes to a normal maximum and then a normal minimum in a sinusoidal wave pattern.

Right now we are near the minimum in the cycle, where sunspot activity is at its lowest and the suns surface is at its lowest temp. This is the indication on the surface of the lower energy activity inside and the lower energy output impinging on planet earth. The low sunspot activity coincides with a reduction in the magnetic flux lines breaking the surface and the lower energy output.  Soon the cycle will begin to go up and we will see increased sunspot activity and magnetic flux lines, increased radio interference, and an uptick in energetic weather activities.  The arctic jet stream will stay farther north and our weather patterns will be under greater influence from the warmer oceanic upwellings due to the increased solar input.

And so the cycle will contine with fluctuations due to the nuclear furnace in the sky operating the way such things do, until that time when the mathematical balance goes off balance from the nuclear fuel cycle running its course and our sun turns into a red giant and finally a brown dwarf.

This is all true, but with anthropogenic climate change, extreme weather occurrences are becoming more common. And in reality, once a generation events aren't very uncommon at all, and a lot of people have already died from this one, which was unnecessary.

 

More snow is falling in NYC today. It's only supposed to be a couple of inches, but we've already got one. I have to admit, it does make the city look pretty.

 

Come on coffee, brew faster....

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5 hours ago, Green Eyed Monster said:

It might seem that way but the last time most of Texas saw weather this cold was circa 1989.

But the last time we had power generation problems due to cold weather was 2011.

 

Part of the problem with the cold in some of the coal plants was they were in a winter minimum state. Our electrical power demand is (usually) lower in winter than in summer, due to a large amount of heating happening from natural gas and also not really that much heat output required compared to our normal cooling demand (which is usually all electric).  So a number of plants take generators offline in the fall with plans to restore them to duty in late spring, or bring them back online if the reserve generation is too low.   Many will rotate them offline to do in depth maintenance on them, which involves extreme disassembly that can take weeks and they try to avoid doing during peak demand.  One (of the many problems) in 2011 and again this week is that those offline generators (that weren't being serviced) also weren't "winterized" meaning they don't switch to a winter weight oil and they don't fill the water lines with antifreeze - there generally isn't any need.  Unfortunately, this time (as with 10 years ago), when t hey went to bring those generators online to make up the demand, they found that the oil was too stiff to let the turbines turn, and the water was actually frozen in the lines and wouldn't flow.

 

Both of those are things that ERCOT doesn't require that their plants do (Though NERC recommends it and most of the RSOs do require), because as has been stated it is ordinarily a rare thing to have this kind of cold, and in the past the question was whether the expense those preparations was worth something that had only happened twice in living memory.  Twice in 10 years now may make people rethink it a little, it really depends on the politicians at this point....

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39 minutes ago, Cygnwulf said:
6 hours ago, Green Eyed Monster said:

It might seem that way but the last time most of Texas saw weather this cold was circa 1989.

But the last time we had power generation problems due to cold weather was 2011.

https://www.weather.gov/fwd/dsnows

Here's a list of major snow and ice weather events in Texas.

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5 hours ago, redambrosia said:

I dunno about over there, but in the states if you send a text to a landline you get a creepy robot voice reciting the text. Which means you don’t actually need a mobile phone anyway.

 

Assuming you don’t mind the creepy robot voice.

 

I'll have to give that a try next time this sort of thing comes up. Wouldn't have helped last night though, the sign-up pages wouldn't even accept a landline number (I'm guessing mobile phone ones are longer?).

 

 

Unrelated, why do we feel compelled to argue about stuff on the Internet, we all know it's utterly pointless but we can't seem to stop from trying anyways.

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21 hours ago, Corsair said:

Well, more snow last night, another 2-3 inches. Still snowing and in the teens temp wise. Friday it is supposed to get warm enough to start melting and by Monday in the 50s.

Anyone else here ever build a new character because you found a mini you wanted to use?

Oh, yes.

 

And NPCs.

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We have power, water, and cell service again. Been out for days. Hope it stays for the second hit this weekend. I kept our freezer food safe by putting bags of snow in there.

 

I'm so exhausted, there have been too many bad weeks in a row without any recovery time.

 

Rumbeard Trading Co has sent out messages to every open order letting them know we'll be a couple days late on orders.

 

So tired. I need warm sleep.

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We don't frequently have severe weather events in Arkansas like this, but they aren't exactly uncommon either. Enough of my friends and family still possess the mechanisms to cope with this sort of incident that I'm not worried for any of them. I am however worried for those who have lost those skillsets. 

 

Wood heat isn't just a pretty thing to do on a crappy evening (though it is that) in a pinch a fireplace or a wood stove not only serves as heat but can also be utilized for meal prep. People also sometimes give me a hard time that I keep three gallon jars of drinkable water full at all times and stored. 

 

I hope you are all safe and warm. It looks like we're coming to the end of the bad here, it was a balmy 26 degrees this morning when I got up, which is much preferred to the six below it was not many days ago.

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