Friday, October 19, 2007

Filling the Freezer

Well, it looks like pork is out, unless you just buy the sales. We found some nice pork roast for $1.49 and put a few away. A lady at work had a sign up for half or whole pigs, but wanted $2.50 /lb, and wouldn't change the tune when I told her that we didn't want them cut and wrapped.

I called over to Moroni and they have turkey burger for $1/lb. That sounded the best to me, and all of the work is done. Let me know how much you want and we will make a trip over. I would like to pressure bottle about 50 pints, and also try out the sausage stuffer. I think turkey sausage would be great. So let me know if you have any interest. After the wedding and before Christmas probably. They didn't blink when I said we might want 500 lbs. No discount either. :)

Thats all the news on the food storage scene. Well, maybe not all. I was mowing the lawn one last time today and when I got to the garden I found about six little garden huckleberry plants that had come up volunteer, and had survived what frost we have had so far. So I transplanted them and brought them into the house. They still have berries and even blossoms. Meanwhile, Annie's tomato is also enjoying the warm and has maybe 20 little bitty tomatoes on it. Kind of fun. I am contemplating making our front porch into a solarium/greenhouse. I think we could have peas, lettuce, onions, radishes, spinach and maybe even cabbage almost all through the winter. All but about six weeks. It would change the looks of the house some, but if I matched the siding it wouldn't look too bad.

One more thing - maybe a five year problem: My boss has been really involved in trying to get Unit 3 built. Since that effort failed he has been tracking all of the coal fired projects across the country that have also been killed, and there are probably over 30 of them. He gave us a little presentation about this, and about the big push for green energy like solar and wind. After the presentation I went to his office and talked for a few minutes. I said that it sounded like he believed we were going to experience black/brown outs in time. I asked him when he thought that might happen. He thought we would see it within five years. I said well if that is so, and it doesn't look like anyone will be changing their minds on building the fossil fuel plants, then as the head of his house hold, doesn't that leave him looking mostly to wind and solar for his own home's security? He told me to go back to work..... but with a rueful smile.

I know that this seems utterly unbelievable, but if you have anything to do with the power grid, you come to realize pretty quickly that it is pretty fragile in the best of times. The closer that it is run to capacity, the more a small problem becomes a large one. Kind of like a car. If you have to drive at 60 mph then you have power to climb a hill or fight a headwind. You also have some lee way if you hit a board with a nail in it and a tire goes flat. You can probably get to the side of the road.

If you have to still drive at 60, but you have to pull a big, heavy trailer, you can do it just fine on the level. But not up a hill, and not with a headwind. Same with a generating unit. We have to go at 60 cycles per second. If the load gets too big when we are at pressure with valves wide open, the dispatchers open switches and isolate areas for a few hours at a time. They rotate these areas so that it isn't too much of a hardship on any one neighborhood. Of course if they have a tube leak or a fan trip, or coal is bad, or a belt rips..... there are just a lot of things that can go wrong..... then more load has to be shed.

We have trouble all of the time. Plants are always having problems, but we still have excess capacity, and instead of shedding load, dispatchers ask the other plants to pick up more load and all is well. When all plants are running flat out, you don't have that option.

Well, time to call it a night. Sleep well.


AnnieOfBlueGables said...

I really hate hearing about the doomsday predictions, but having lived with Sailor for over 33 years, I have come to believe him, even if I do hate hearing all that stuff, and tend to join Pixie under the coffee table.
But it is so fun to go outside and gather some chard or broccoli (still growing out there) and bring it in and cook it. Or go downstairs and gather some tomatoes or squash and cook that. It is really fun to not spend that at the grocery store. I can hardly wait for our solar greenhouse. There is nothing like the garden fresh tomatoes.

Andrew said...

Let's make some sausage!