Sunday, January 21, 2018

Passing Gas

I stopped by Buster Brown Propane to get a small bottle filled on Friday, and mentioned to the guy filling the bottle that I'd bet the cold start to January got them off to a great start. 
He told me that during the height (or should I say depth) of the freeze they had one driver who had delivered seven thousand gallons of propane in a single day!
Considering that the average residential propane tank holds 250 gallons, and the average fill up is 100-125 gallons, that's a Heck of a lot of stops - all delivered over icy roads.  I have no idea how their drivers are paid, but that driver deserves a bonus.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Nobody Dies On TV Any More

TV news has been full of stories about the Opiod Epidemic in the US. 63,600 opiod deaths in 2017 caused Life Expectancy in America to drop for the second straight year.
But -
Nobody dies of an overdose on TV shows any more! 
First responders - EMTs, Firemen, Policemen, and last night on Hawaii Five-O, even the Coroner - always have a supply of Naloxone (Narcan) or some similar miracle drug which they administer in the nick of time.  The druggie is revived and back to normal within minutes with no visible side-effects.
This strikes me as a very dangerous precedent.  Someone needs to explain to the writers of TV dramas that not everybody carries antidotes, and in the real world, people are actually dying of overdoses every day. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Silver Lining

Finally - Last night the temperature did not drop below freezing, and the last few patches of snow and ice are melting away.
Speaking of mosquitos, we've only seen one or two since the Air Force Reserve did their aerial spraying four months ago.  
That spraying in the aftermath of Harvey was so effective that I
  1. wish they would do it every year.
  2. worry that anything that effective has to be harmful.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Jamuary 73

The weather prognosticators are still holding out hope for 70 degrees by Saturday, but there are still patches of snow on the ground, and our overnight low was 22.  Most of the greater Houston area has been on hold for the past couple days - school and work cancelled and folks urged to stay off the roads.
That got me thinking about January of 1973. 
I was working for 3M Company, servicing office equipment.  On the evening of January 10th, a Norther blew in that resulted in snow and ice on the roads in the morning of the 11th.  I went to my first scheduled call as usual, only to find there was nobody there.  After waiting for almost an hour, I went and found a pay phone and called the office.
The sales manager answered and said he was the only one there, and that I was the only technician who had called in.  He told me to go home and get warm.
As I was pulling into my driveway. my pager went off.  I went inside and called the office.  This time, I reached Monte Miller, the service manager for the Houston area.  He told me to "Go do inventory or something, and keep your pager on." saying "There's no way in Hell I'm telling St. Paul, Minnesota that we cancelled work over less than two inches of snow."

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Flight 101

Houston is still frozen, and that's all anyone is talking about, so I almost missed the story about United Flight 101. 
Beginning with the maiden flight on Friday, the 787 Dreamliner  will fly nonstop from Houston (IAH) to Sydney. The flight leaves at 8pm for the 8,596-mile trip to Australia’s largest city. Scheduled flight time is 17 hours 30 minutes.
The plane arrives at 6.30am local time in Sydney, two days after leaving Houston, with one day lost because of the International Date Line. But on the return journey, passengers will arrive 75 minutes before they set off, local time. Departure is at 11.50am, with scheduled  arrival at 10.35am the same day.
For business travelers, United promises “elevated inflight food and beverages, tranquil custom bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue, comfortable pyjamas and exclusive amenity kits with products from Soho House & Co’s Cowshed Spa”. Meanwhile, economy passengers get “an adjustable headrest and a personal on-demand entertainment system”.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Winter Warnings

Just about everything in the greater Houston area is closed this morning - all due to a winter storm that would probably be just another November day in St Louis or Des Moines.
Yesterday, the forecast called for a chance of freezing precipitation - sleet or snow - with dropping temperatures that mean it might actually stick around for 24 hours or more.  So far, we have had a light dusting of sleet here at the Boggy Thicket, and the temperature dropped below freezing shortly after dawn.
An abundance of caution is probably a good thing, but our reaction has got to be causing a lot of laughs in the rest of the country.