Monday, February 22, 2021

What We've Seen Lately

Greetings Earthings!  What have you been up to?  I have been up to not very much.  We're still staying away from people.  So far, our vaccine appointments have not been cancelled.  Mine is for this Sunday, hopefully by then more doses will have arrived in AZ.  With any luck, Governor Ducey will let some of us poor people in Tucson have some of them.  The bulk of the vaccines go to Maricopa country, a Republican strong hold. 

Our next door neighbors are gone. We don't know if they just went somewhere, or if they returned to the frozen north from whence they came.  I can't imagine going back to the northern tier this early.  So, we've been harvesting the lemon tree in their absence (I have permission).  This year I plan on doing it in stages, last year we were sort of over whelmed by the lemons.  This is the first haul, the neighbor's tree is on the left, our tree's most recent effort is on the right.

There was washing of the lemons, zesting of the lemons and then juicing.  It worked out to be an ice tray and a half.  That much exposure to lemon juice is tough on the hands.  It took an application of Aquafor and Nivea overnight to overcome the damage.

There are not very many squirrels in this area.  We have one who visits us from time to time.

He saw me inside taking his picture.

There have been interesting skies.

Today we were up and out for a doctor's appointment.  It's been pretty windy, and the valley was full of dust.  You can see the layer.

We got behind a training ride on the road.  These people were somewhat annoying, they were not single file.  There is a good shoulder there and they should be to the right of the fog stripe.  This sort of behavior makes car people angry and then they run over other cyclists.

This is the Modern Streetcar.  People in cars seem to run into them with great regularity.  The car in front of us seemed to be oblivious to the fact that he needed to move over.

Texas continues to suffer from the recent weather.  The current crisis is a shortage of water as well as insane power bills.  People who normally pay $200 a month are receiving bills in the thousands of dollars.  The Texasmonthly did a good piece on what happened. 

Under the deregulation scheme passed by the Legislature more than two decades ago, Texas has a market design that allows generators to make money only by selling juice—not for investing in equipment that could help produce extra power in the event of an emergency. Critics contend that this approach, part and parcel of Texas’s aversion to regulation, makes the state’s energy system less reliable, even as it boosts profits for some market participants. Based on their biographies on the ERCOT website, at least eleven of the fifteen ERCOT board members have current or prior ties to the energy industry.

Griddy, a power provider, had to buy power on the spot market, which is expensive.  They're passing the increased costs on to the consumers.   After the outages worsened, politicians immediately started in on a new big lie, blaming the problems on wind and solar.  It wasn't the fault of renewables, it was coal, gas and nuclear that failed big.  That, and the fact that a significant sector of the industry was down for maintenance.  Ultimately, the system performed according to its design.  It's designed to cut costs, save money, and make a profit for the owners.  It's not designed to have excess capacity, function in extreme cold, or to connect to the big grid for help if things are dire.  Even now, conservative bloggers are saying the system was down due to over dependence on renewables, and that winterizing is stupid because this was a 100 year storm.  The ice storm of 2011 apparently has been forgotten.  I'm going to be interested to see if the citizens are willing to continue down this path of not being prepared for cold.

That's it - that's all I've seen.


  1. Those same bicycles are in Ohio, too. But when the grass is green.
    That squirrel wants to know if you're taking his picture, m'f***er?

  2. Soon our local bicycle clubs will be out, riding two and even three abreast on our narrow country roads with no shoulders. Causing traffic backups on double yellow lines. They're not popular among drivers.

  3. Those lemons look fantastic but I can imagine that it is a lot of work to zest and juice all those.

  4. Jim's been making lemonade with fresh lemons but I think he's about wore out. Bicyclists are very plentiful up here. Lots of "professional" riders as well as all those who ride bikes cause they don't have a drivers license. Have to be on alert constantly. And they do seem to love those two lane, no shoulder roads.

  5. Texas gets less than 20% of its power from wind and solar combined. and yes, it was recommended to winterize the grid after the last ice storm but in Texas and Republicanism it's always profit over infrastructure. and of course they never ever own their shit so of course blaming Biden (?), AOC (?) and the non-existent Green New Deal. nevermind that windmills work just fine in much colder climes. we're trying to get rid of these assholes but Texas is gerrymandered out the wazoo.

  6. I am so, so glad we don't live in Texas. They really should just go ahead and secede if they insist on going it alone, and screwing it up alone. What a bunch of idiots.

    I am an avid cyclist myself but don't agree with riding on the inside of the side line, if there is a decent shoulder. Unfortunately, it's often littered with glass and other debris and is a flat tire waiting to happen, but if it looks good, I'll certainly ride over there. I don't like group rides for this reason, though; the group just takes up too much of the road, and bad manners tend to proliferate the more people there are. I will ride with my husband, but that's it.

    Hope you get your vaccines! Hubby is due for his second on March 5, but I'm in the last group so am waiting as patiently as possible.

  7. The heads of the power companies should be held accountable, especially for the deaths that occured. Wind turbines work just fine in Alberta all winter, so the winter is not the problem.

    The lemons look lovely. I would love to be able to pick them fresh from a tree. It would be amazing.

  8. I've gotten a couple of bags full of home grown lemons lately. I like to 1 squeeze and freeze lemon juice; 2 peal the rind, dry it, and crush for lemon zest; and 3 cut the lemon into small slices, put in an ice cube tray, fill with water and freeze - easy way to have a slice of lemon in your water!

  9. Thinking of you getting your vaccine jabs today. May you suffer no side effects other than a pleasant drowsiness that leads you to still still in a comfy place and read. Or better, not even that.

    1. Thank you so much for the thought. One down, one to go!