Update about blogCa

Lake Tomahawk in May 2021.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The crunch of no gasoline

Written 5/11/21

Hackers in Russia did something that meant the Colonial Pipeline was shut down, and the southeastern US, (and I think some of the northeast as well) now has a shortage of gas. 

My friend who works in a gas station went to work today, though they ran out of gas yesterday, selling just the premium until it was gone. She's answering the phone and nicely telling people they have no gas.

Today after I gave my blood for medical tests (to be added to my yearly physical) I took my friend a cup of coffee. And had a croissant and coffee myself as well. But while driving US 70 from Black Mountain to Swannanoa, I saw a 2 blocks long line at the Shell Station (at the exit on I-40)...people lined up to get whatever gas there was. 

There were many semi-trucks at the Ingles grocery's huge warehouse, where lots of trucks (not just Ingles) go to get weighed...or spend a night. I wondered suddenly how our interstate products would be delivered? If they have no gas, they have to stop driving.

And then I remembered I needed some things at a grocery store, and stopped there. Again I can understand how folks felt at the beginning of the Pandemic. Do I have enough food? Do I need more cleaning supplies? Do I have paper goods to last a month? 

Oops, I forgot to get more toilet paper. 

Anyway, there weren't that many people at the grocery. Nor were the shelves completely filled. The stores seem to be filling in shelves with the products which they already have...so some areas were kind of illogically filled with items. Where there used to be potato chips in one store, they now have lots of gadgets displayed.

But besides the thoughts of how our area may have to deal without any transportation for a while, including resources...I am home again after a rather strange occurrence at the railroad crossing.

My little street crosses the railroad right at US 70...with a light as well as the railroad crossing arm. Today the railroad was working to lay a new piece of track near that crossing.


I was on my way home with lots of groceries (mainly snack items, I confess) and a salad for lunch, when I crossed these tracks and the light was green. But the little car in front of me stopped when it suddenly turned red. That left me halfway on the tracks. I wasn't worried about trains, 'cause that machine and truck were still there.

But the light stayed red for a long time. Cars were lined up on the other side of US 70 waiting in a line to get gas at the Gulf station...at least 2 blocks long, but not across the intersection at least.


We continued to sit with a red light...much longer than the usual cycle. And I noticed a police car (unmarked) sitting in the left turn lane on 70, but for some reason he just seemed parked there. Sort of like the car in front of me. (I finally realized the police car was there in case the line of cars did go as far as the intersection.)

I didn't worry, until the working truck and machine started to come behind my car on the tracks. My bumper was probably sticking in their way, so they stopped. I inched closer to the car ahead of me, still at a red light. The police car was still sitting doing nothing. The truck on the tracks loomed over my back right shoulder. I inched closer to the car ahead. I finally beeped, hoping she would give me a few more inches.


The truck on the tracks was much wider than the yellow track-laying machine, and it slowly moved behind me. Finally a worker went over to the signal control box and gave us the green light, so I could get out of the way. The truck somehow gets off the tracks and now can be on a road...but I wasn't able to watch it. 

I went home... carried groceries inside, ate my salad, carried more groceries inside, then rested!

So our roads already were very lightly traveled. All the people who depend on having gas for their work are suddenly confronted with a big problem. Delivery of goods is screeching to a halt...unless they come from another area which doesn't depend on the Colonial Gas line.

Today's Quote:

You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep spring from coming.

PABLO NERUDA





21 comments:

  1. Hello,
    The pipeline being closed can up being a big problem. I hope they find a way to re-open. The power grids and these companies should be included in the infrastructure work that must be done. It seems things can get hack so easily. It does not help when people start hoarding, they can hoard gas creating more lines and shortages. Take care, have a happy day!

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    Replies
    1. yes, some people don't believe in sharing what's available. Oink oink, I call them hogs! It may be cool and rainy here, but I also hope to have a happy day. Same to you!

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  2. ...ah, you can thank Donny's friends the Russians.

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    Replies
    1. I like the idea that we might have a better infrastructure...but many folks are against government control of private industry. It's a fine line, and this shortage may help push more laws and regulations into place. But keeping the Russian hackers out of things is another area we should have the government working on!

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  3. That would have been very odd and uncomfortable even though you were assured of no train.

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    1. The poor truck driver probably couldn't tell how close he was to my car. There were other workers around who were completely unaware of the situation. Not their job. They were thinking of something else.

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  4. At this point, Tsar Vladimir should be treated as the snivelling, thieving, chaos causing prat that he is. Someday perhaps the Russians will wake up, see what he's done to them, and hang him.

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    Replies
    1. I hate that Russia is still run with an authoritarian regime. It's a difficult and powerful situation.

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  5. Far too slowly people in the "developed" world are beginning to realise that trucking everything in is not productive in many ways. We need local as much as possible, even if it does cost a bit more.

    The rail/ road vehicles are a brilliant idea, never mind if it isn't a new one

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    Replies
    1. yes, this does bring to mind how much "imported from elsewhere" is part of our dependency. And the internet, and TV also make us think of one big world marketplace, while we humans only can have touch with what's in our back yards...until we get on a plane and zoom through miles with Co2 flung this way and that.

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  6. I am so sorry you experiencing the pipeline shutdown there. It's such a bummer that hackers can interfere in such a big way with these things. I hope things get better quickly there.

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    1. I'm again hunkered down (love that phrase, though I admit to not knowing exactly how to hunker) like at the beginning of the pandemic. Lots of beans and rice in the cupboard!

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  7. Not a comfortable situation, stuck on the tracks--or stuck without gas. Hunkering here . . .

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    Replies
    1. Ha ha...glad to have gotten through the tracks incident. I have a full tank that I filled up a few days before the rush...and usually that covers a month for me.

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  8. It makes you think, what's coming next.

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    Replies
    1. Yep...our lives are interdependent...we're all connected.

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  9. That is scary. It reminds me of those awful gas lines of the '70s. I would much rather pay more for gas than go through that again.

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    Replies
    1. I remember those times. And when there was a lull from them, I took a big vacation driving a camper all over the country.

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  10. The house we owned in Maryland that we had built had an easement on the north side of the property for that Colonial pipeline. All underground. During growing season mowers would come and mow the easement. Occasionally a helicopter would fly along the easement. And at least once in the 10 years we lived there a tree crew came and cut trees and limbs to keep the easement clear.
    I read that the reason gas stations ran out of gas was because people purposely filled up when they normally wouldn't have.

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  11. Barbara, We just got back from a road trip a couple of days ago...just before the gas shortage/hacking problem. Timing is everything. Yesterday we went to get gas and a station that we frequently fill up at was out of gas just as we arrived. The USA needs to fix our infrastructure including IT systems and it needs to happen soon! Stay Safe and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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    Replies
    1. Amen. Yes the problem of anything getting hacked is number one to solve!

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I'm glad to hear your thoughts...as long as spammers stay away~~