Zap comics

No sweat: We got a battery backup.

No sweat: We got a battery backup.

We had a spot of fun around here yesterday.

The Martin Drake Power Plant, the downtown eyesore that Moses brought with him from Egypt, caught fire and had to be shut down. Not to worry — the coal-fired relic only supplies a third of Bibleburg’s power — and as you can see from the photo at top, the city has a backup in place.

Boy, I bet the City Council wishes they’d given a green light (ho ho ho) to recreational-marijuana sales now. They’d have enough sales-tax revenue to build a solar array, six wind farms and a nuclear plant.

I can already see the slogan: “Puffin’ for Power: Get Lit And Stay Lit.”



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20 Responses to “Zap comics”

  1. Steve O Says:

    Do y’all really need electricity? I thought they couldn’t afford to turn the street lights on, regardless.

  2. veloben Says:

    Not if the Koch Brothers have anything to say about it.

  3. sharon Says:

    Electricity is not our problem. We need water. Another drought year…lakes down to less than 50 percent capacity. But they keep building more and more homes. Scary. Seems everyone and their brother wants to move to Austin. We will need hurricane rain bands to replenish lakes to any kind of a decent level at this point.

    • Steve O Says:

      When Texas secedes, will Austin counter-sesede?

      • khal spencer Says:

        When we briefly considered moving to Austin so I could take a job at the Jackson School for Geosciences, I wondered how long the U.S. could continue a Berlin-style airlift should TX secede and blockade the roads.

      • veloben Says:

        Maybe, but I’ll have to go extract my kid by pretending we are both Canadians making a SciFi movie about Freeeeedom.

    • khal spencer Says:

      There was a story on NPR this morning about a Witchita Falls, Texas having to recycle its treated sewage outfall directly into its intake water system in order to make ends meet, so to speak….

      Meanwhile, I’m surprised the good folks in Bibleburg don’t just call on the Almighty to provide light. Whatever happened to that old time religion? Who needs coal when you have God?

      I had a startling discovery on Saturday. We have this big one megawatt solar array in BombTown which is supposed to be expanded to 2 mW. But it turns out that only provides a little over a percent (1.4%) of the county electricity budget of about 73 MW. (including that consumed by the national lab). How the hell do you burn through a megawatt? 63% is still coal, the balance hydro. Main problem with hydro is when the water levels in places like Lake Abiquiu fall, the turbines stop spinning. Backup plan? We are implementing a redistribution program (i.e., rooftop array credits).

      Seems to me like Bombtown would be the idea place for a public utilities mini-nuke reactor.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        “To make ends meet, so to speak.” That, sir, is funny stuff! Chapeau!

        Our coal fired plant has been hazing up our valley for as long as I can remember. It has affected the health of people here for decades, especially those who live close to the river. The popular thing for years was to blame it on Mexico. Can’t be our fault right? When the power co-op reached a deal with the EPA and state environmental folks to change one generator to natural gas and clean up the other, I applauded. Now I am waiting for it to happen.

      • Sharon Says:

        Also loved the “to make ends meet” comment. Funny stuff Khal.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Thanks, Sharon and Pat. Given infinite time, even a monkey can write Shakespeare.

  4. Steve O Says:

    Speaking of batteries and GOP ass-hattitude … Was reading about Tesla’s problems in Texas. The supposedly pro-business party is stone-walling new industries again, banning Tesla sales thru some bullshit law that requires all auto sales to go through an intermediate — no direct sales from manufacturer to We The People. Proving once again the the GOP isn’t pro-business — they’re pro this business and that business, pro my business not your business.

    Of course they have they’re talking points in line, if by “in line” you mean “utter nonsense that wouldn’t fool a 3rd grader.” “Tesla is more than welcomed to bring their business to Texas, as long as they’re willing to play by the rules.” Seriously? Going right over their cone-shaped heads is the fact that the rules are stupid and only serve to protect established business (read: political contributors) from the free market.

    • Steve O Says:

      Their, not they’re! (Can’t blame Siri this time.)

    • sharon Says:

      Steve – you hit the nail on the head. Tesla’s is the new guy and hasn’t been greasing the wheels, so to speak, for decades. Money talks loud in Texas, and the auto dealers have a lot to say.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      I’m getting tired of cities and states bending over backwards to give these businesses, including pro sports teams, tax gifts. They take it, stay awhile, then demand more. It’s one area where I agree with the normal conservative mantra to get government out of business. Arizona has been courting, like a dog in heat, Tesla for a battery factory.

      • Steve O Says:

        // . It’s one area where I agree with the normal conservative mantra to get government out of business. //

        It’s a conservative mantra, and you’ll find more than one odd politician who will repeat it out loud. But few practice it. The Dems suck up to business industry by industry, union by union, in a haphazard sort of way, triangulating between donors with $$ and special interests. And across the street, the GOP Is all about protecting turf, keeping the Haves happy. Today’s GOP would have protected the candle and gas lamp industries from that upstart whippersnapper Edison, and would have defended the buggy whip manufacturers from hippies like H. Ford.

  5. Larry T. Says:

    Think of the juice wasted in the USA each day. I contrast this with Italians, who pretty much buy all their jolts from other countries…and they don’t waste ’em. The lights in the hotel corridor come on only when tripped by a motion sensor while the older places might still have the tiny switch you tap to turn ’em on for few minutes while you’re in the hallway or stairwell. Most hotel rooms require you to put a card or probe into a socket to make the power come on, making damn sure you don’t leave TV’s blasting or the lights on for no good reason.
    In the US, the more power you use, the cheaper it gets, especially for juice-heavy industries, where in Italy, if you build a house that can take only so many watts through its wires and fuse boxes, you get a better price on ’em. You might have to turn off the oven to run the hot water heater now and then, but you get used to it. Even the college kids the wife took over there for a study-abroad program last year realized how much energy is simply wasted by your average ‘Murican.

  6. Libby Says:

    Scary. So glad it wasn’t worse. How close are you to the facility, Patrick?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We’re a few miles north, Libby. My favorite bike shop, Old Town, is practically next door to the plant, which squats like a poison toad smack dab in the black, shrunken heart of Bibleburg at Interstate 25 and Cimarron.

      Latest is that the cause was lubricating oil contacting hot steam pipes. Yup, that’ll do ‘er, a’ight.

      The plant is insured, with a million-smacker deductible, if I recall correctly. The city’s honchos must be shitting cupcakes, as they just had to suck two mil’ out of the rainy-day fund to patch the plethora of giant mutant potholes that have been sending local motorists to alignment shops and inattentive cyclists to China.

  7. John Dallager Says:

    i had to replace my 1990 Toyota 4-Runner battery today (I live in Bibleburg and NO it wasn’t the original battery!) Coincidence??!!

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