Sunday Faith Blog

Last night my neighborhood went completely dark at about 7 pm.   TV, computer, lights…everything went off.   I thought of the food in the freezer and refrigerator, knowing that the power outage would probably not be long enough to affect anything, but you never know, and I’ve got a freezer stuffed with beef for my beef-lovin’ stepson who’ll be here at the end of July after what he’ll admit was “WAY too much fish” after 2 months on a sailboat in Fiji and Tonga!  But this post isn’t about beef, it’s about ….

HOW DEPENDENT WE ARE ON ELECTRICITY, ON LIGHT.

Another point is:  HOW MUCH DEPENDENCE ON GOD IS RATHER LIKE THAT… If one has strong faith, it’s the thing that makes other things work.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12.

Some of the neighbors came outside to wait out the outage chatting….lots of people walked by and said hello and we commiserated on the outage, etc.  When the lights suddenly came up, there was a huge cheer!   It was like a religious experience!

It wasn’t much fun in the dark.  Stuff just plain didn’t work.

Have a great Sunday…

Z

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43 Responses to Sunday Faith Blog

  1. bocopro says:

    When Milady & I first established joint domiciliary back in the P.I., we had a cinderblock combo outhouse/shower with no hot water and no light. The old man from whom we rented had set five 50-gallon drums atop it.

    Problem was that each evening the water slowed to a trickle, sometimes taking 10 minutes to fill the tiny little sink for washing dishes. Having a shower would’ve been impossible without those barrels providing gravity-fed, sun-warmed water.

    By around 0300 or so, the pressure returned, so the barrels filled and the float valve kept ‘em from overflowing. That was about the same time that housepower came back to normal, too, mainly ‘cause ever’body had gone to bed and quit usin it.

    Each evening the voltage would drop down sometimes as low as 90, meaning that no devices worked. Word for it was “brownouts.” About 2 or 3 times a month, it went off altogether, sometimes lasting from around 1900 to midnight.

    No A/C, and this was at sea level not far from Manila. No refrigerator. No TV. No car. One lousy radio, which quit when the voltage got below 100. Just me and her in those hot tropical nights and those irritating mosquito coils and the food cooked in iron pots over a wood fire.

    And I loved every minute of it. Ya gits t’ know one ‘nuther real gud when they ain’t no constant distractions . . . ‘cept the skeeters ‘n’ crickets. And there’s just something magical about a sun-warmed, gravity-fed, cinder-block shower house when you got a flat belly fulla rice ‘n’ fish, a limber back, and one lonely chevron on your uniform sleeve.

  2. Linda Goossen says:

    This reminds me of my mom’s Aunt Dode! She lived on the outskirts of Del Norte, CO. It was in the backwoods of the mountains. We’d go see her, from Denver, with all the amenities we all love, to the mountains that had an outhouse, that we had to use a flashlight to get to in the middle of the night, to baths in a big round tub in the kitchen. I hated it when I was last! We have great memories of that time. We do take for granted our electricity, et al. Ours flickers sometimes, and the biggest pain is the Direct TV. It seems to take forever for the dish to ‘reset’. When the EMP happens, we’ll all know what it’s like to live, if we do, without electricity and all it provides.

    If your haven’t read ‘One Second After” http://www.onesecondafter.com/ read it. He’s got a sequel called ‘One Year After’. We do need to be prepared. I don’t think WE are!

  3. One Second After, and it’s sequels…..are excellent EMP fiction, that detail what will likely occur within society if the grid were to completely go down. Most Americans understand their personal inconveniences if the electricity goes out, but don’t look at the larger picture with logistics, since an EMP or CME would likely disable all vehicles with computers.

    There’s a rule of thumb amongst the prepared – 9 meals to anarchy. Most Americans have enough food on hand to construct approximately 9 meals for their families, before needing resupply. And once the grocery stores are looted…that’s it. This is why I consider this scenario the number one threat……and our grid is most definitely not hardened, even though Congress has been publicly briefed on the danger and likelihood of an EMP/CME event. No high voltage transformer is produced within the U.S. anymore….and our government really has no recourse in place were this to happen.

  4. Mustang says:

    @ CI … Exactly so.

  5. geeez2014 says:

    Wow, this was less about electricity going out, only a vehicle to my point, but thanks for the input!

    By the way, many people have ‘disaster food’ on hand and don’t realize it almost always says “just add water”…which won’t be available. Particularly not the hot water they require.

    bocopro…how anybody can feel romantic in intense humid heat is way beyond ME 🙂

  6. bocopro says:

    Well . . . bein young and stupid had a lot to do with it, along with a surplus of hormones.

    Besides, the partner I selected was energetic, responsive, and downright delectable.
    Here’s what she turned into . . . think she’s around 65 in this shot:

  7. bocopro says:

    Sorry, the link didn’t take.

    I have SO much to learn . . . and so little time.

  8. Z – Wow, this was less about electricity going out…..

    Yeah, sorry. One Second After got mentioned, and I was off!

  9. Mal says:

    Like most folks, we’ve experienced blackouts due to power disruption, including a 4 day stint w/o power in Washington State, but the weirdest time was when we lived in Newport Beach because we only lost power to half the house. Most homes are wired with 220 volts for ranges, dryers, etc. which requites 2 separate 110 volt lines. Well, we lived on a corner lot and our 2 lines came from 2 different circuits, creating the odd results. The kids were going around the house flipping switches and yelling “we have power on the front porch light but not the living room”, etc. It only lasted for an hour or two, but we still laugh about it.
    However, we were prepared in Washington because power loss was a common occurrence and we had a gas generator. I would run a power cord into the kitchen to keep the fridge going, then did the same for my neighbors. I put the generator in the car and went to our kids homes to do the same.

  10. Lose electricity, you’re in the dark.
    Lose touch with God, you’re in the dark.

  11. Mal says:

    You lose either way, right, Ed?

  12. geeez2014 says:

    Bocopro…it would have worked but I don’t want to join yet another thing like dropbox …new password, etc. Will not ever use it, probably…but would have loved to have seen it.
    And I love how you love her! Treasure these years….I never got to have them.

    Ed and Mal, yes….either way…but one’s more profound!

    CI…no problem.

    I felt a little guilty like I was demanding you all respond to my POINT when, really, it’s nice to get any kind of response to what we write, isn’t it…to see what the writing brings up in my friends. Thanks

  13. Bob says:

    I like the comparison of living without electric power to living without God. There is one difference, and that is I don’t believe everybody would know they are living without God. Maybe they sense something missing in their lives.

    Interesting comment by Bocopro. My brother spend 35 years in the Navy, and adopted an American/Filipino child while he and his wife were in the Philippine Islands. We welcomed and loved this child like any other, and when he died three years ago (in his early fifties), it was almost like losing a child.

    Early in my career I was an electrical engineer at a power utility, and I was in the communications and operations area. We didn’t worry so much about EMP and CME back then because that stuff was just not on the radar. Our big concern in the operations area was how to recover from losing an entire substation. If we were to lost entire transmission lines, there was nothing we could do.

    Understand that large power transformers are as large as many houses, up to twenty and thirty feet tall. The same goes for the oil circuit breakers. The delivery time was on the order of 18 to 24 months for a new transformer, and we managed to have a couple of older transformers in storage for emergency purposes.

    To recover after a full-fledged WMP attack, or a serious Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) event would take years. In the meantime, it is unlikely that ALL transformers and generators would be destroyed. Transmission lines can be replaced relatively quickly. It’s the combination of problems that is a killer. The bigger the equipment is the more is cost, the less likely it is to have spares sitting around.

    As an Amateur Radio Operator (HAM), I am not prepared for an EMP, either. All my radios are based on microprocessors (computer chips), and therefore vulnerable to high magnetic field incursion into the circuitry. Some of my colleagues have refurbished old vacuum tube gear for sentimental reasons, and those people would be able to communicate even after an EMP event, well, as long as their power supplies last.

    This last week with the torrential rains we experienced in the Southeastern USA, we have had several small power outages. The longest lasting was for about five hours, and this was over night. I do have a 2 kw gasoline generator in the garage, and I also have a UPS backup to my telephone and internet services. The big screen TV draws too much power for a backup system. When the power fails, my wife and I will go to the internet on our battery power laptops and surf until the power returns.

    So Z, it seems that with our reliance on electric power, we would all be in existential trouble if a major EMP attack would occur. At least we would have God.

  14. Bob, we were discussing EMP on air last week and it occurred to me that though I was of the opinion that the inductance of the coils in the transformer made it the target, that perhaps it would be inductance in the transmission lines that would spike the grid.
    I am not of the opinion that our electronic devices (not on AC) are that vulnerable to some passing electrons (as aircraft survive lightning strikes routinely), particularly if no path to ground is present.
    Thoughts?
    And I’m still running my 5kw Y2K generator occasionally. 🙂

  15. Bocopro – What is your opinion on the Faraday Cage theory, for your HAM equipment? I tried to also draw a religious analogy for Faraday cages….and utterly failed!

  16. Baysider says:

    I just heard an hour interview with Rob Bell on the bible. The only thing worse than the lights being out and you know what you’re missing, is the lights being out and you DON’T know what you’re missing.

    CI + 2.

  17. bocopro says:

    I reckon many of us have experienced various disasters depending on where we’ve lived . . . floods, hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, wildfires, drought, and so on. And if we haven’t personally endured and survived the vagaries of Mother Nature, we have family or close friends who have.

    Hurricane Ivan came through here like a wrecking ball in September 2004. At least half the houses on my street (indeed much of the city) lost all or parts of their roofs. Many roads and streets were impassible for days, even weeks, because of downed trees and washouts.

    And on top of all that inconvenience, my neighborhood had no electrical power for 19 consecutive days. Even those homes with generators eventually went dark because they couldn’t get fuel when they ran outta gas. It was literally a dark time. Some areas went more than 30 days without power, which meant no fone, no TV, no refrigeration, no stove, not even radio in many cases.

    Now . . . I’ve never had much use for the Red Cross (for personal reasons), but I gotta give ‘em their props. As soon as they could get their trucks thru the streets, they were out providing bottled water and warm meals for folks. And the meals were usually damned good – chicken, veggie, & biscuit or spaghetti with spring rolls, and once in a while just hot dogs ‘n’ baked taters.

    EVERYbody worked their butts off . . . chain saws, pickup trucks, roof tarping (blue roofs), debris removal, street clearance. It was as if suddenly everybody knew everybody else because of the shared misery. Total strangers would drive you to another area where you could buy gasoline, tools, food, and other necessities. The city did a Herculean job hauling away all the rotting furniture, rugs, and what-not.

    Having grown up a country boy and living for years in the Philippines, I had no problem with the inconvenience, the heat, the threat of pilferers and looters, the long nights with the windows open and all those strange noises. My wife’s solution was to get outta Dodge and go to our son’s place in Texas. I stayed here to watch the property, me and my dog and my shotgun & pistol, which I had no cause to use.

    All that said, if the devastation had encompassed the entire region so that food, fuel, medicine, and other things weren’t attainable because of unreliable vehicles, inoperative gas pumps, unsafe water, and breakdown of civic order, chaos would’ve set in by the end of week one when people began to run out of essential stuff.

    Us humans can be purty resourceful and resilient when the chips are down. Not sure that’d be the situation, tho, in the case of nationwide darkness. Hard to share when you done run out of ever’thing yurself. Can you say “Neolithic?”

    I have no idea how the snowflakes and “safe-space” whiners and Mom’s basement dwellers and social justice warriors would cope. Prob’ly just perish ignominiously waiting for the gubmint to come bail ‘em out. ‘Course with a big enough pulse, there’d BE no gummint ‘cause there’d be no revenue, and Uncle Sugar can’t give anybody anything until he takes it away from somebody else.

  18. Bob says:

    Ed: Yes. Anything with conductors involved will have induced currents in the presence of an electromagnetic field. Generators and transformers are great examples. Transmission lines are huge inductors, too. I don’t know how strong the fields have to be to cause damage, but they would have to be really intense.

    As far as my radios go, they are all solid state. Solid state devices, i.e. transiistors, diodes, and other like devices have delicate junctions within them that would fail with over voltages being presented. Think lightning strike which would wipe out all devices in spite of having a fused input from the power source.

    The EMP would be so large and happen so quickly, that the voltages and currents produced in regular devices could effectively destroy those devices.

    A Faraday cage (total shielding from all directions) is the best way to protect. I am thinking about everything from Pelican cases to steel garbage cans to use as Faraday shields while equipment is in storage. However, I use this equipment regularly, and shoving it into a garbage can just ruins the fun of things. Building a Faraday shield in my basement where the radios are located is just out of the question.

    So, I suppose my solution would be to keep an extra set of radio equipment stored in a shielded environment, and hope I can find batteries if I need them.

    73

  19. Crap – Bob, my comment above was directed to you….sorry about that.

    I have smaller, steel garbage cans for my backup notebook, Baofeng radios and a few other small devices. Unfortunately, my Goal Zero Yeti would almost require a serious construction project to house.

  20. bocopro says:

    CI — I was still on AcDu when HMP hardening became a hot issue. Also, as a crypto technician while a whitehat back in the 60s, I became quite familiar with TEMPEST hardening. A lot of that stuff has been going on for a long time; we just don’t hear about it.

    I love to write, but I won’t get into that except to say that around 1990 or so I wrote a novel on that very idea — the Chinese build two enormous orbital platforms, one in synch orbit over Tennessee and the other over Colorado. At the same time the Russians develop a sonic cannon which would immediately immobilize a submerged submarine. My protagonist sees it all coming and hides out with his girlfriend in the Canadian Rockies.

    In researching the effects of HMPs, I began to believe that unless they are massive pulses, much of our electronics will not be fried because it is pretty much hardened already by being in metal cases of one sort or another. Laptops, cellfones, iMacs, pacemakers . . . those sorts of things would produce those cute little wisps of blue smoke and go the way of pet rocks, but many automobiles, power plants, refineries, planes, and communications setups would survive simply because of where they’re installed or kept.

    Shielding, including Faraday cages, will be effective against small or remote bursts, but not against focused or YUGE ones. Naturally, the thicker the casing, the higher the survivability. But to put the entire continent out of action would take enormous power.

    Just my opinion, and it’s more than 20 years old, so . . . .

    Incidentally, my protagonist becomes a sorta consigliere to the President once the country gets back on its feet. The Chinese invasion never occurs because their economy collapses, and the Russians wait too long while handling uprisings along their southern and western borders. He dies, tho. Heroically. In a sea action against a Russian base in Cuba. Missile from a Komar takes out his PT boat.

  21. Kid says:

    Z, Nice turn of a situation into a concept.

    On the no electricity, I’ve read where 90% of people would be dead after about 3 months. I’d put it at 6. Many are barely able to stay alive with the insanely robust infrastucture we have now.
    I see gangs roaming the streets looking for well protected properties and assuming they have something worth protecting. If it comes to it, don’t look well protected. Hide you food behind false walls and sit on the porch with weapons begging for food. We’d last a few months without refrigeration. We can heat because we have propane for as long as our tank would last.
    The first thing I’d do is build an alliance with as many armed neighbors as possible to make our neighborhood Not be long hanging fruit. We’d have watches and some folks would always be on watch ready to make a lot of noise if a problem arose. Lots of ways to do that. Lots more to consider but that’d be some immediate thought.

  22. Kid says:

    ..low hanging fruit…

  23. Kid says:

    PS – We need to be building these things on every street corner and eliminate the threat.

    Shortest vid I could find but there are plenty more. 100% safe Nuclear Power. all 310 million of us need to be calling on congress to do something useful.

  24. geeez2014 says:

    Kid, an alliance of neighbors? Yes, to protect against looting should an attack on our electricity happens, but I’m more worried about losing the electricity than being robbed.
    I’m worried about food and water. Around here, they push earthquake food on TV and radio and they’re only now, after 25 years, adding “all you have to do is add water.”
    Are there people THAT stupid to know that they won’t HAVE water to make the food palatable other than whatever bottles they have stored ??

  25. Kid says:

    Lot’s of canned food Z. Dinty Moore Beef stew is a big hit. You can always heat and sanitize water with firewood.

  26. Kid says:

    Also the material in most bras can be used to make an 870 foot fishing line.

  27. geeez2014 says:

    Kid, right…i have tons of cans of chili, too! It’s good cold 🙂
    um…re the bra.. WHAT???!!

    EVERYONE:
    Then we have a Trump son saying NOW that he met with a Russian lawyer about Clinton in 2016..but the lawyer had no info…..except he’s also said he met with her about a Russian adoption.
    To keep in mind my Sunday FAITH blog “Lord, please, MAKE IT STOP!”

    In Trump’s defense, have ANY presidents come out of really important meetings and totally spilled the beans of everything said? Republicans are on him, Libs are REALLY on him… “he didn’t say this…he did say that”? Okay, his story doesn’t jive with Tillerson’s take on some pretty darned important answers, but REALLY? I don’t remember hearing everything..>That’s why they meet IN PRIVATE.

    NOT in Trump’s defense…he needs to check with his staff before Tweeting…he really hung Tillerson out to dry on the PUtin meeting BIG TIME. SO avoidable..so darned avoidable.

  28. Baysider says:

    We kept a small shelf of ‘dry food’ in case of emergency in our second bedroom. Earthquake came. Shelf toppled over, blocked door.

    In our society I worry about looting. We’re too full of entitled victims. Some people have generators, but unless they are the super quiet kind (that cost a fortune) you stick out like a sore thumb and invite trouble.

    Kid is right about appearances. An American woman who was trapped out in the open in Cairo when the SHTF managed to find cover in a walled compound where an old man was roasting a goat. It was false security. The smell of the food drew crowds, and the compound was easily breached. He was killed and she barely escaped. I saw a security deconstruct of that scenario that suggested a layout more along the lines Kid describes.

  29. geeez2014 says:

    Baysider..I’m all for cold canned chili 🙂
    AND YES, some people get canned goods and then the quake’s blocked access to THE OPENER!
    Just got to rely on the light…that things will go as He’s planned them. Hopefully, HIS thoughts are OUR thoughts (Wait, we’re told they’re NOT? uhoh!) 🙂

  30. Kid says:

    That’s Control +

  31. Kid says:

    Baysider – Sun Tsu

  32. Baysider says:

    Kid – yes!

  33. Kid says:

    Baysider. Danke Shoen.

  34. “The first thing I’d do is build an alliance with as many armed neighbors as possible to make our neighborhood…”
    I heard a guy call in to a radio show saying that his neighbors had a lot of food and he had guns, so he would protect them for food.
    I called in and was asked my plan.
    I said my neighbors had a lot of food and I had a lot of guns. He said “and?” and I repeated myself.
    He finally understood.

  35. A faraday cage is useless against a device plugged into the grid.
    I still don’t believe that transistor junctions will be blown by the electrons shed by the pulse, like my aircraft/lightning scenario earlier.

  36. Kid says:

    Ed, Yea. OTOH, If he neighbor did not have food or guns, I’d shy away from hooking up with them. A situation like this is when the rubber hits the road. Trying the defend the defensless seems like a suicide plan.

  37. Kid says:

    Another thought. This is one situation where a drone might come in handy. (The only situation for me) Problem: How to charge the battery? A bicycle type generator powered by.. Ok going off the rails here so I’ll stop.,

  38. Bob says:

    Ed: “I still don’t believe that transistor junctions will be blown by the electrons shed by the pulse,” Believe it. Microprocessors have infinitely tiny transistors, millions of them, and it takes very little static voltage to ruin one. You may think that lead length would be non-existent with micro circuitry, but don’t forget the bus or conductors that bring signal and power to the devices.

    As for power outages, in 1989 there was a strong CME event, and Hydro-Quebec had a massive failure. Here’s the Wikipedia account. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_1989_geomagnetic_storm

    It is possible that we could experience a Carrington Event such as happened in 1959. It would be lights out for a lot of people.

    Several nuclear devices being exploded in the atmosphere at planned locations would do the trick, too. Pretty much all consumer electronics and commercial communications would go down, as would lots of power distribution. This is the scenario from One Second After. Sure, some things would survive, but even shielding from electromagnetic fields does not stop atomic particles from penetrating shielding material. They will go through lead like it wasn’t there.

  39. Baysider says:

    Kid, Corrie Ten Boom’s family read books out loud during blackouts in WW2 Holland. They fashioned a generator to run off the bicycle, propped the bike off the floor, and took turns biking to run the light. Their sheltered Jews joined in.

  40. Z,
    I just thought I’d give you a quick comment. I’m in the midst of some serious medical problems that are slowing me down considerably. I didn’t want you to think I checked out of commenting. I’ll be back when I’m able.

  41. Kid says:

    Baysider, I had a generator affixed to the front forks of my Schwinn that used the front tire for propulsion and that powered a head and taillight. If one took the rear wheel off and attached something that ran off the chain drive, you could really get some juice.

    @LaOT – I hope you are well soon.

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