Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Good Morning, America, how are ya?
We're rolling through Omaha, NE this morning in the pouring rain. Traffic is thick, nearly standing still. It's morning rush hour, and I don't understand why they call it that when no one is getting anywhere fast.
Kinda like the poor stranded airline passengers in Europe. I was glad to hear that things were going to start moving over there this morning, for both the people who were stuck, and for the sake of the world economy. It kind of drives home just how fragile our modern transportation and supply system is, though. This eruption is a baby eruption on the scale of volcanic activity, yet it has caused havoc for so many.
Mike and I have talked many times about how easily transportation in this country could be disrupted, and the serious consequences of such a disruption. So many businesses work on a Just-in-time system that a three day interruption of transport in this country could empty grocery store shelves, and bring manufacturing to a halt. Imagine going to a grocery store and finding the shelves empty, or a gas station that has no gas to pump. It's kinda scary to think about - almost enough to make you want to buy a survival cabin in Montana.
We live in a technological house of cards that could tumble with the slightest disruption. (Diesel shortages, volcanic eruptions, massive power failures caused by solar storms, category 5 hurricanes, oh my...)

Now, for most folks the solution isn't too difficult. Keep your pantry full of non-perishable foods, make sure you've got an alternate way to heat your home and cook if the power fails, plant a garden, etc... There are hundreds of books dedicated to survival in just such a situation. And even if you don't anticipate the collapse of civilization as we know it, it's smart to be prepared for local emergencies like tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and such.

But what do you do if you're stuck on the road a thousand miles from home when disaster strikes? Do you just hang out and hope it gets sorted out soon by the Powers That Be? Considering how our government handled things in New Orleans after Katrina I don't have much confidence in them being able to handle a nation wide catastrophe. I'm sure there are perfectly competent individuals in FEMA and the other disaster response agencies, but the monstrous bureaucratic system ties their hands in too many ways for them to be effective. No, I have the feeling that we'd be pretty much on our own.

But hey, I always try to look at the bright side. A cross country hike or bicycle ride on lean rations would be just what I need to take the extra weight off.

On an unrelated side note - I want to know who it was who thought stainless steel toilets in Nevada rest areas was a good idea. Northern Nevada gets cold. When you first walk into the rest area the heater is turned up to about 90 degrees and it feels like your're walking into a sauna. Then you find out why. Those metal toilets. Feels like frostbite on your nether-regions. And they get even colder when they auto-flush while you're still sitting on them.


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I'm a 34 year old wife, truck driver, writer, and photographer with a love of adventure and travel. I am a Libertarian, and a total sci-fi geek. I studied archaeology at Auburn University.


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