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The gulf waters are so frigid off Texas, a news report this morning showed people were rescuing many hundreds of turtles. It looked like a hanger full of wall-to-wall turtles of all kinds. Latest I heard was 3 million without power in Texas.

 

Here in Wichita, we are expected to get into the mid 20s (F) today. At least the sun is shining. Huge chunks of snow/ice mixed with sand fell off the undercarriage of my car in the garage overnight. I pushed most of it onto the driveway with a push broom this morning, but I’ll have a mess to clean up when the temps are more accommodating.

The street I live on is still snow-packed. I see a lot of animal tracks in the snow. Could be cats, but most likely fox, coon, skunk or possum. Even coyotes. They are around and often spotted in this area of town just a few (3-4) miles from the countryside.

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Thanks for the thoughts.   It's been a mess all over Texas.  Locally it was couple mornings at 5 deg F / -15 C with several inches of snow and ice accumulation. We've not had temps above freezing for several days.  We've had snow before but not this bitterly cold for this long in many decades.  

 

The extended power blackouts seem to be finally subsiding but many still without power. Many homes/businesses without power for 3-4 days now.  Many homes/buildings in Texas depend on electricity for heating as well as summer cooling.   

 

 The Texas electrical power grid came close to catastrophic collapse due to unprecedented demand before the grid operator began power blackouts very early Tues morning.  Wind power turbines frozen, snow/ice covered solar panels, frozen natural gas, coal, and oil power generators failed en masse creating a large power grid supply deficit. Not enough supplemental power of consequence could be gotten from other grid systems.  A classic domino effect. 

 

Untold numbers of homes and businesses with frozen/broken/leaking water pipes due to lack of power and heat.

 

Then the water supply / waste water treatment systems began failing.  Pumps and equipment frozen, large water mains broken. As a result large parts of the state are still under "boil water" advisories due to the water system damage.

 

Even if one was brave enough to drive on the snow/ice covered roads which weren't closed many grocery stores were/are closed or have greatly limited business hours with some limited item availability due to the trucking distribution system being locked down because of highway & bridge closures, etc.    Snow plows in Texas??

 

The finger-pointing and fallout has already started....

 

 

 

 

Edited by Phil
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My eldest son lives in Austin with his little family.

 

They've had power constantly since yesterday but still no water. When we skyped today he showed us the bath full of snow they use for flushing, I have a very resourcefull Texan daughter in law!

 

The Texas power company is called Ercot, but apparently Epcot and Ergot are interchangeable at the moment...

 

He was very pleased to hear that the Senator had managed to get away for a few days in the sun.

 

Stay safe kids especially you Phil!

 

 

 

Edited by Mr Standfast
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Ted Cruz took his family down in the evening and he flew back the next morning. Big deal. It’s not like he physically needed to work all night with a blowtorch to defrost pipes. He could zoom meet from anywhere. Somebody in the WH took a snow day today. That was kept pretty quiet.

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On 18/02/2021 at 19:23, Betty LaRue said:

Ted Cruz took his family down in the evening and he flew back the next morning. Big deal. It’s not like he physically needed to work all night with a blowtorch to defrost pipes. He could zoom meet from anywhere. Somebody in the WH took a snow day today. That was kept pretty quiet.

 

Edit: Hope you had a safe trip, Ted, and didn't bring back any unwanted souvenirs.

 

Politicians everywhere are good at this kind of thing. A number of Canadian officials who told people to avoid non-essential travel during the pandemic have been caught sneaking off on personal trips and vacations (a.k.a. holidays). Power and hypocrisy are frequent bedfellows.

Edited by John Mitchell
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What do we have to do to convince people to stay off politics here? A little snarky remark gets things started and it escalates. I don't want to have to stay away to have some politics-free time when I get up in the AM.

 

Paulette

Edited by NYCat
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I've spent a lot of time in Mexico and know people living there. The country has been hit very hard by the Coronavirus. It isn't a place to visit at the moment. The U.S. CDC website offers some excellent advice for anyone thinking of travelling there at the moment (quoted below):

 

  • Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time.
  • Travelers should avoid all travel to Mexico.

 

Hopefully things are beginning to improve in Texas.

 

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18 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

yeah not everyone is a good father.🙄

 

 

 

I think a good father wouldn't have blamed the decision to go on his daughters and would have used this time as a teaching experience about delayed gratification and started his own phone bank for checking on the state of the elderly who live alone.   Their mother was going with them.

14 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

Ted Cruz took his family down in the evening and he flew back the next morning. Big deal. It’s not like he physically needed to work all night with a blowtorch to defrost pipes. He could zoom meet from anywhere. Somebody in the WH took a snow day today. That was kept pretty quiet.

 

Ortega at least has the excuse of having serious health issues and was out of Nicaragua being treated both in 2018 and 2020, and when he came back, he tried to correct the mistakes other had made (not as successfully in 2018 as in 2020).   The rate of deaths per million is creeping up here, but is still much lower than the US, UK, and Mexico because Ortega knew a lockdown would kill people and that his police couldn't enforce masking so he left that to the banks and private enterprise.  We've had 26 or 27 deaths per million.  We're getting people fleeing from both Honduras and Costa Rica to here because they have not done much to control tourism.

 

Cruz wasn't planning to come back that early -- change of plans after the outrage was all over social media.

 

Betty, I know who you're quoting.   I highly recommend the BBC for less biased news in either direction.  

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On 2/18/2021 at 1:57 PM, Betty LaRue said:

The gulf waters are so frigid off Texas, a news report this morning showed people were rescuing many hundreds of turtles. It looked like a hanger full of wall-to-wall turtles of all kinds. Latest I heard was 3 million without power in Texas.

 

Here in Wichita, we are expected to get into the mid 20s (F) today. At least the sun is shining. Huge chunks of snow/ice mixed with sand fell off the undercarriage of my car in the garage overnight. I pushed most of it onto the driveway with a push broom this morning, but I’ll have a mess to clean up when the temps are more accommodating.

The street I live on is still snow-packed. I see a lot of animal tracks in the snow. Could be cats, but most likely fox, coon, skunk or possum. Even coyotes. They are around and often spotted in this area of town just a few (3-4) miles from the countryside.

In Brazil, 32 degrees in my region, in Fahrenheit it should be 89.6 .... here there is no snow ... sun all year ...

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14 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

I've spent a lot of time in Mexico and know people living there. The country has been hit very hard by the Coronavirus. It isn't a place to visit at the moment. The U.S. CDC website offers some excellent advice for anyone thinking of travelling there at the moment (quoted below):

 

  • Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time.
  • Travelers should avoid all travel to Mexico.

 

Hopefully things are beginning to improve in Texas.

 

 

More or less the same advice for here, but here does require testing negative (and not from the rapid test that gives false negatives) 48 or 72 hours before landing.  Costa Rica spread open to anyone rich enough to fly in (no testing) despite that being how they got their first case.  And Ticos sneak into Nicaragua because things got so crazy there.

 

My helper told us that nine people came down with the virus in San Rafael del Norte and still wasn't masking regularly despite taking a bus to get here to work for us.  We've leaned on him and given him masks (surgical, cloth, and Chinese-made KN-95 masks with and without valves). 

 

I've been amazed by all the people who just want to come to Nicaragua and tell each other how to game the system to get in.  I wouldn't be on a plane now or a bus. 

 

Tourism is okay as part of an economy but dangerous in situations like this one if it's a majority of the economy because people often don't have country land to go back to and even if they can, can't get a crop quick enough to avoid serious hunger.  Rich countries can tide their people over (Canada seems to be doing this).  Poor countries can't.

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1 minute ago, Jose Decio Molaro said:

In Brazil, 32 degrees in my region, in Fahrenheit it should be 89.6 .... here there is no snow ... sun all year ...

 

Nicaragua had snow fall once in the early part of the last century, but only in the highlands.   Low temps where I am have been in the high 40s F in the last two decades or so, and have commonly enough been in the 50s F.  High temps have been as high as 106 F, but only in April here.  Managua was 40 C one time I had to go down to do paperwork.

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14 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

 

More or less the same advice for here, but here does require testing negative (and not from the rapid test that gives false negatives) 48 or 72 hours before landing.  Costa Rica spread open to anyone rich enough to fly in (no testing) despite that being how they got their first case.  And Ticos sneak into Nicaragua because things got so crazy there.

 

My helper told us that nine people came down with the virus in San Rafael del Norte and still wasn't masking regularly despite taking a bus to get here to work for us.  We've leaned on him and given him masks (surgical, cloth, and Chinese-made KN-95 masks with and without valves). 

 

I've been amazed by all the people who just want to come to Nicaragua and tell each other how to game the system to get in.  I wouldn't be on a plane now or a bus. 

 

Tourism is okay as part of an economy but dangerous in situations like this one if it's a majority of the economy because people often don't have country land to go back to and even if they can, can't get a crop quick enough to avoid serious hunger.  Rich countries can tide their people over (Canada seems to be doing this).  Poor countries can't.

 

Canada has recently expanded its travel restrictions.

 

Returning travellers in Canada have to self-quarantine for 14 days. I believe that it is only seven days in the US. I doubt that Mr. Cruz and family will bother.

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1 minute ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Canada has recently expanded its travel restrictions.

 

Returning travellers in in Canada have to self-quarantine for 14 days. I believe that it is only seven days in the US. I doubt that Mr. Cruz and family will bother.

 

I've seen speculations that Cruz and his family probably have been vaccinated.

 

The Australians found that something like a quarter to a third of the people who were supposed to self-quarantine, including some people who went skiing in Aspen and didn't even follow a quarantine procedure there.  So they now make quarantine mandatory in locked hotel rooms.

 

I'm  ashamed of the US citizens who lie about going to Alaska and vacation in Canada. 

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36 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

 

I think a good father (I would never presume the quality of anyone’s parenting unless I saw it with my own eyes) wouldn't have blamed the decision to go on his daughters and would have used this time as a teaching experience about delayed gratification and started his own phone bank for checking on the state of the elderly who live alone.   Their mother was going with them. How do you know what his state of mind was when he left? The governor of Texas is who makes decisions about the elderly. Not a senator. **see governor of NYC.***

 

Ortega at least has the excuse of having serious health issues and was out of Nicaragua being treated both in 2018 and 2020, and when he came back, he tried to correct the mistakes other had made (not as successfully in 2018 as in 2020).   The rate of deaths per million is creeping up here, but is still much lower than the US, UK, and Mexico because Ortega knew a lockdown would kill people and that his police couldn't enforce masking so he left that to the banks and private enterprise.  We've had 26 or 27 deaths per million.  We're getting people fleeing from both Honduras and Costa Rica to here because they have not done much to control tourism.

 

Cruz wasn't planning to come back that early -- change of plans after the outrage was all over social media. Do you know the leanings and politics of the Twitter posters?

 

Betty, I know who you're quoting.   I highly recommend the BBC for less biased news in either direction.  And where, pray tell, will I find less biased reporting? 🤣 Last I looked BBC has their own leanings and slants, like virtually ALL media. It is the nature of today’s world. The day of unbiased reporting is nothing but a memory of the dim past.
So I’ll get my news where I feel like it. Then use discernment. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt and not immediately jump to a conclusion.
BTW, domestic travel is not restricted here obviously. People here have been booking flights for a long time. I don’t know the ins and outs of other travel.

 

Edited by Betty LaRue
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1 minute ago, Betty LaRue said:

 

 

Betty, the airline and the cops seem to have verified that Cruz was planning to come back on  Saturday.  He's now trying to raise money to fight "cancel culture" based on this.

 

There was never unbiased reporting, at least not in the South.  One of my first jobs on a weekly was reading through old issues of the paper for our anniversary year reprints.  The propaganda for WWI was particularly nasty.  The propaganda for Prohibition was also not so nice.   The other thing was learning that counties used to do what states and the feds now do -- provide for the poor out of tax money in the early 1900s.   I also spent time in the State Department archives researching the Indian Independence movement in the US, which explain why Gandhi laughed when an American reporter asked him why he didn't visit the US. 

 

I'm glad travel into Nicaragua requires a negative covid test and travel out of Nicaragua to the US requires paying the national health service $150 for a test with timely results.  And I'm tickled that the Cubans now have developed a vaccine that they will give to tourists.   They also opened up too quickly and ended up with more cases, but being the clever biomedical techs that they are, they developed a vaccine of their own. 

 

When I was a kid with a shortwave radio, I was listening to Radio Moscow when my mother's maid came in and said, "It's good to get both sides."  I started talking like a rather right wing eleven year old and said it was just propaganda.   She backed off.   She was black and afraid to contradict even a white child.   (Even then, Canadian shortwave radio news was obviously more honest than US news on Cuba).

 

And she continued to bring me books to read, like James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time, Story Magazine, Howard Fast novels, and Ebony Magazine.   Different times.  Different causes.  She was smarter and better read  than my own mother.

 

I think pretending to be unbiased tends to cover up a certain level of propagandizing.  I think removing the FCC Fairness Doctrine was not a good move.

 

I've been outside the US for ten years.   I love what Jinotega has become despite all the damage my country of birth has done to Latin America.   Not that all the opposition was good either.  An FSLN friend of mine said that Cuba had been an island prison.  And the FSLN supported free movement of even its Nicaraguan enemies more than the US in the 1950s tended to do with people it considered leftists. 

 

The big event in my life was the Civil Rights Movement though I was too young to actively participate. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, MizBrown said:

 

I've seen speculations that Cruz and his family probably have been vaccinated.

 

The Australians found that something like a quarter to a third of the people who were supposed to self-quarantine, including some people who went skiing in Aspen and didn't even follow a quarantine procedure there.  So they now make quarantine mandatory in locked hotel rooms.

 

I'm  ashamed of the US citizens who lie about going to Alaska and vacation in Canada. 

 

Mexico is having a lot of trouble vaccinating its population, another reason why travelling there is dangerous and thoughtless (to others) at the moment.

 

 

 

 

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48 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Mexico is having a lot of trouble vaccinating its population, another reason why travelling there is dangerous and thoughtless (to others) at the moment.

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry to hear that.   I hope everything works out so I can visit Mexico again, but I'm not even going other places in Nicaragua except to deal with Migracion at this point. 

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5 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

I've spent a lot of time in Mexico and know people living there. The country has been hit very hard by the Coronavirus. It isn't a place to visit at the moment. The U.S. CDC website offers some excellent advice for anyone thinking of travelling there at the moment (quoted below):

 

  • Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time.
  • Travelers should avoid all travel to Mexico.

 

Hopefully things are beginning to improve in Texas.

 

 

 

My son has had power for 48 hours, no water yet.

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11 hours ago, NYCat said:

What do we have to do to convince people to stay off politics here? A little snarky remark gets things started and it escalates. I don't want to have to stay away to have some politics-free time when I get up in the AM.

 

Paulette

 

I wish Alamy would create a social group for its photographers.   It might help to keep the focus in the photography groups on the photography and the politics would have its own space. 

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