Y2K Bug Increases Demand For Dried Food -- Silicon Valley

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Y2K Bug Increases Demand For Dried Food -- Silicon Valley

Awareness grows. Please just remember that the lights stay on, the trucks transport and the grocery shelves can be restocked during 1999. After that? Growing food, starting a home vegetable garden, THIS spring, is a wise back-up strategy. -- Diane

San Jose Mercury News -- Breaking News http://www.mercurycenter.com/breaking/docs/012769.htm

Posted at 6:51 a.m. PST Monday, December 7, 1998

Y2K bug increases demand for dried food

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The first time he heard that the year 2000 could throw computers out of whack, Bill Grey figured he'd get his personal computer fixed and move on.

But the more the Santa Rosa graphics designer read, the more he worried that the software glitch might wreak havoc in a society where computer technology runs everything from power plants to commuter trains.

This spring, he decided to stock up on dehydrated food -- and found he faced an eight-week shipping backlog, caused by the sudden demand for long-term provisions stoked by others taking similar precautions.

As the century clock ticks down, fear of millennium pandemonium is growing.

``This is a concrete technological problem that has not been addressed in time,'' Grey said. ``There aren't enough programmers or time left to fix it.''

A small but determined group of people are taking matters into their own hands, turning cash into gold, buying generators and installing solar panels. Others are picking out rural retreats and buying guns to defend their hoards if necessary.

Long-term food is a particularly hot item, sparking a boom in the hitherto small dried food industry.

``In the past three months we've been doubling sales every month,'' said Chris Clarke of Emergency Essentials, an 11-year-old Utah-based company that manufactures and distributes dehydrated food.

Randy White of Alpine Aire Gourmet Reserve Foods said sales have increased threefold this year. ``A lot of the televangelists have kind of picked up on this,'' he said.

Joe Gomez, food manager at Major Surplus & Survival, a disaster supplies store in Los Angeles, said he has started doing some of the dried food processing himself to keep up with demand. Among his more unusual sales: a woman who ordered a $3,000-per-year supply of food for her family -- for seven years.

Many computer systems are programmed to recognize only the last two digits in a date, so 2000 may be misinterpreted as 1900. Businesses and government agencies have been working frantically to fix the bug.

Just how serious the problem is depends on who is doing the predicting.

Some think there'll be minor inconveniences. Others fear the nation's power, communications, water and financial systems -- all strung together by computer connections -- could crash, prompting worldwide chaos.

The chairman of a national commission dedicated to fixing the ``Y2K'' computer problem, John Koskinen, said last week that 61 percent of the federal government's ``mission critical systems'' are already corrected. He has predicted that 85-90 percent will meet a March deadline for compliance.

Bruce DeBerry of the California Public Utilities Commission said utilities have been told they must fix Y2K bugs by November 1999 and have contingency plans in place for such essentials as back-up fuel supplies.

Despite the preparations, some are preparing for the worst.

``It seems like everybody woke up at the same time,'' Gomez said. ``A lot of them are scared. A lot of them don't know where to start. Some of them's afraid that Chicken Little's coming to town.''

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 07, 1998


Article also found at: www.sfgate.com

Demand for dried food soars as concern grows over Year 2000 computer bug MICHELLE LOCKE, Associated Press Writer Monday, December 7, 1998

URL: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/ 1998/12/07/state0102EST0092.DTL

(12-07) 01:02 EST SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The first time he heard that the Year 2000 could throw computers out of whack...

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 07, 1998.

On a lighter note...

Some worry about end of the world, others about champagne drain Sunday, December 6, 1998

URL: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/ 1998/12/06/state1440EST0005.DTL

(12-06) 11:40 PST SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- While some fear the Year 2000 computer bug could cut food and water supplies, one vintner is predicting a shortage of a slightly less dire nature -- fine champagne.

David Brown, vice president for marketing at Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves in Sonoma County, who also markets Freixenet of Spain, says demand for the bubbly stuff will be greater than suppliers' shipping capabilities.

[Freixenet is great! No morning after headaches!]

In a 50-page booklet, The Freixenet Millennium Planning Guide, Brown says that sales of all sparkling wines could rise about one-third above normal.

``A lot of companies are simply going to run out of product before the end of (1999)'', he said in a story posted on the Wine Today Web site. Because fine sparkling wines must age for two years, it's too late for vintners to stock up on extra if they haven't already.

The millennium doesn't actually end until Dec. 31, 2000, but many are planning big parties for 1999.

Don Schliff, vice president for sales at Wine Warehouse in Los Angeles, anticipates ``a huge demand for the high-end stuff.''

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 07, 1998.

Thanks Diane!

I gotta say, as a graphics designer, I'm really proud of those in my profession! For some strange reason everyone I talk to in my profession gets "it" immediately. Kind of strange but maybe it has to do with the abilitity to visualize and problem solve in multiple dimensions.

Any way... the herd is moooving.

Diane, any tips on starting that garden?

Mike ==================================================================

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), December 07, 1998.

It's wise to stock up on food for all emergencies, because in your neck of the woods, an earthquake on the Hayward fault is likely to happen soon. Had one just the other other day that registered 4.0., and several hitting the Redding area centered around the Shasta Dam.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), December 07, 1998.


Will be working on it come spring and figuring out the "How To" and asking more experienced gardeners questions and writing articles. I've tended to be a small flower and herb garden person. Gonna be a lot more to learn.. It's well worth it.

Also studying how to start a Farmer's Market. Will post when done with research.

Bardou, yep. Earthquake's are picking up along CA. Am preparing, suggest others do to. Remember the water supply.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 07, 1998.

Mike, One book that is worth its weight in gold....square foot gardening. I've also tried totally organic...didn't work so good for me..guess I don't have the time to pick the little buggers off they way some people do. I sort of go inbtwn..and use things to keep the weeds from growing up and some for bugs. Chemicals are good for years if you don't let them freeze. Go to Farm Bureau Cooop and pick up dacthal for weeds and thiodan for bugs. Most of the bugs are already resistant to sevin....but if you do use if make sure it is on the leaves. It has to be for the bugs to eat it and die..simply getting it on the bugs won't kill them.

-- More Dinty Moore (Not @this time.com), December 07, 1998.

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