Texas town getting anxious

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This arrived via a mailing list from a person in Texas:
"An interesting article came out in our local paper a few days ago... seems the city council has now decided the best plan of action vs inaction is to sell the city's utilities... so they're going to spend 2+ million checking it out.... the article was spattered with a few odd comments by council members:

''We're panicking and selling the one thing the citizens of Denton take a lot of pride in. Let's just ride this thing out.' 'Our back, as a community, is somewhat up against a wall.' 'We do have a major problem, and this is an effort to get all the pieces together.'

"....All of this without ever mentioning Y2K....or giving any other reason for selling.

"So I went to the city web site (again) and lo, and behold, now we have published minutes of the monthly Y2K Challenge meetings (separate from the council meetings). Here I found a sparse (brief listing format), but telling, account of what some of the problems are...and you can see the discovery process that led to November's panic.

"Seems Lone Star Gas won't communicate with the city officials...so they have a real sense of foreboding about whether gas will flow. They have plans to have generators in place (rented by May) and gas stored. They seem to think they can run the water systems manually (that is if the pumps work -- need electricity for that they note).

"'The side of myself who was still holding out for the possibility of solutions has been somewhat dampened."

To paraphrase a platitude, all infrastructure is local. And also the problems any failure will cause. Three hundred miles down the road, something else (or nothing at all) may be happening.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), January 09, 1999


Doesn't it all just make ya dizzy, Tom?

Plan to do my study homework of all the solar power stuff I picked up yesterday, then post. Keeps looking like the best back-up strategy for short and long "power" is an off-the-grid option.

Walking into a completely solar-powered retail store and demonstration grounds at Real Goods, was paradigm shifting! Still feeling awed by it.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), January 09, 1999.

Wow, how incredibly careless and thoughtless this town's city counsil is. I think they've done the exact opposite of what y2k requires and that is the move toward self suffiency. It seems they've simply decided to pass the buck onto others and pray those others can provide.

As someone without the resources to go "off the grid" and produce energy by alternate means I've come to the realization and acceptance that "power" isn't necessary. All that is needed are alternate sources for heat, cooking and battery operated devices. I've taken care of those.

I find comfort in the thought that it wasn't that long ago that life was much more simple and comfort is relative. I wont miss television, my microwave or other modern appliances as much as my wife might. I will miss my computer, however, and my work will not be possible without it. So, I'll do something else.

One thing that I find disturbing about having power when your neighbors don't is that your neighbors may not react well to your inability to provide power for them too. I would make the effort to cover windows, etc if you choose to have lights on and your neighbors are right next door in the dark.

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

-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), January 09, 1999.

Mike, in response to your comment about covering the windows, that's a thought -- for other reasons too including total privacy, and that hot summers will have MUCH cooler houses if the windows are totally covered, and it might even help conserve heat in the winter.

I used to live in an RV van-conversion and in my city (a tourist town in CA) cops would nail you for sleeping anywhere but the $12/night parks. The cheapest solution I found worked awesomely and my lantern inside couldn't even be seen through my (non-tint clear) windows:

Home Depot-type stores sell these pretty good sized rolls of velcro that is sticky on the back. They also sell incredibly cheap outdoor-type carpet in black (very un-carpet-like for the most part, kinda like massively thick material). I put velcro all the way around the window (on the wall outside the frame) and cut the carpet to fit. Easy to pull off when I wanted, and when it was up, not a smidgeon of light (or anything else) could be seen inside, even close-up.


-- PJ Gaenir (fire@zmatrix.com), January 10, 1999.

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