Saturday, December 31, 2022

Another Year

Another year has come to an end. 

Well, that was interesting. 

Sometimes I think the universe throws this stuff at us out of boredom. Do you ever feel like a fish in an aquarium and some snotty nosed kid keeps banging on the glass?

Hope none of you were too heavily invested in crypto. Remember though, no matter how bad your crpyto investments did, you can always laugh at people who’ve invested in NFTs. 

Looks like a fair number of people took a bath with investments in general. Real estate in particular was and is a wild ride. Maybe we should stop looking at real estate as an investment and look at it as a place to live. Heck, it’s an investment if your property has room for a chicken coop and a kitchen garden. That’s real wealth. 

If you were Russian of conscription age it was a good year to visit wondrous Uzbekistan and Georgia. If you were a Russian Oligarch it was a good year to stay the heck away from open windows. 

All I’m going to say about Ukraine is: glory to Ukraine. 

Politics were interesting this year. Once again, the universe had little reason to complain about being bored. 

I’m looking forward to 2023. Whatever happens, I don’t think it’ll be boring. 

On a personal level it was far from being a bad year. I just celebrated my 44th wedding anniversary. That’s pretty impressive for a couple of 20 year old kids who only knew each other 4 months before getting hitched. Apparently there’s at least one person I don’t piss off too badly. 


Friday, December 30, 2022

Infrastructure Attacks

There’s been a number of attacks on the power grid. Personally, I wasn’t too worried about it. However, there are people who’ve asked me how serious these attacks are going to get. Well that depends on what you mean by “how serious.”

If you are on medical equipment that needs electricity and your power goes out, it’s serious. If your power is out long enough that your local water supply is impacted, it’s serious. 

It appears that at least some of these attacks are a right wing attempt to destabilize the country. Will it work? In short, no. The country is too big and too diversified. There’s not enough political support behind the attacks either. Add that to the fact arrested people will do hard time. You know those people who need medical devices and die? That will be a factor when those idiots get sentenced. 

These attacks will mostly fall in the nuisance category. 

The grid is actually in more danger from two other things. The first is weather events. Hurricanes, tornadoes, snowstorms, flooding: those things take down the grid all the time. The second biggest issue is poorly run grid systems. Texas takes the reward on that one. It’s like they are denial that there will ever be another cold day. 

People, as a matter of course, should prepare for infrastructure problems. Sure, they can happen due to terrorist activity, but it’s more likely that other issues will cause more problems. They will happen sooner or later. 

What won’t happen is a successful overthrow of the government through nuisance attacks. 


Thursday, December 29, 2022

Well that was Christmas

My lovely wife and I were about an hour away from heading south to Massachusetts on 26th to celebrate with extended family. Then we got a call that my grandson tested positive for virus-19. Since then my daughter has also come down with it. They’ll be fine, but that did it for the celebrating with a large group. 

However, one of my other daughter’s invited us to celebrate with them in Vermont. We gladly took them up on the offer. They were supposed to host Thanksgiving this year, but had the same issue my other daughter’s family just had for Christmas. It was darn good to get together with at least some of the family. 

We celebrated with a niece on Christmas day, so that was nice. 

I’ve a third daughter in California so getting together with that part of the family is always difficult. 

I’m one of those people for whom Christmas can be a tough holiday. In 2019 I disappeared into the Everglades to take a break from it. Had I known then what I know I now I might have sucked it up and celebrated it with people. Hindsight is 2020 after all. 

I hope everyone got through Christmas in good shape -whatever that looks like for you.


Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas!

 Merry Christmas everybody!

Hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday season.

I might be taking a few days off from the blog. My lovely wife and I will be busy with famly.


Saturday, December 24, 2022

While the grid is back up

I’m writing this Friday afternoon. During the night it started snowing. About 8 a. m. the grid went down. That wasn’t a surprise. The big surprise is when the grid came back about an hour and a half later. 

The snow has since turned to rain. The plow built up a nice bank in front of my driveway which became heavily waterlogged. Fortunately, the neighbor’s plow guy took a swipe with his plow and cleared most of it. My lovely wife opened up the drainage around the driveway. The water was about ankle deep and rising quickly. It’s not too often that I shovel snow in a rain poncho.

Anyway, the grid blipped out for a minute while I was writing this. Looks like I’ll be on backup power again soon. 

It’s all good. We don’t have to be anywhere and the woodstove is keeping us warm.


Friday, December 23, 2022

If you were wondering

If you were wondering what happened to my computer yesterday here’s a quick summary. I’m using a Chromebook and had issues with glitchy programs. Not thinking of all the implications, I did a complete reset. What I failed to consider is that I’m also running Linux programs, including my word processor. Those went away. I’d forgotten How I set those up in the first place. It was late. I was tired. It had to wait. 

So here I am, mostly back. With all my messing around I lost a few documents, but most of those can be rescued from backup. On the bright side, I added to my Linux knowledge. 

This should be a nasty day as far as weather goes. Looks like a good part of the country either had this storm, is experiencing it now, or soon will. Here it’s predicted to start as snow, turn to heavy rain, and later switch back to snow. That comes with constant high winds. The odds of the grid staying up are vanishingly small. The same goes for my Internet. I’m hoping the cell system stays up so I can fill everyone in tomorrow. 

The nasty bit is that it’s supposed to turn quite cold. If you don’t have a grid independent heat source it’s going to be rough. We should be snug and cozy, but stuff happens. Don’t do anything stupid as help might not get to you for some time. 

Be well.


Thursday, December 22, 2022

Computer issues

 Hi Folks I'm dealing with some computer issues. It might take a day or two to sort out. 


Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Start of Winter

It’s the official start of winter, the Winter Solstice. Sure, I celebrate Christmas, but I also honor the Solstice with appropriate ceremony. Make of that what you will. 

Of course, for those of us who get at least some of their energy from solar panels, it’s a big deal. The days are getting longer. It’s not going to make that much of a difference for a number of weeks, but it’s heading in the right direction. 

Then again, the cloudy days and snow on the solar panels have a direct influence too. There’s not much I can do about the clouds. As for the snow on the panels, I’ve a procedure that works fairly well. My panels are mounted on a steel pole out in the yard. I bundle up with my coat collar up and my mad bomber hat on. That’s to keep the snow from going down my neck. Then I walk over to the pole and give it a good swift kick with my size 15 boots. That jolt is usually enough to knock the snow free from the panels. 

While the longer days don’t seem to help that much in January, February can produce some of my best solar gains of the year. On a clear winter day the sun reflects off the snow and concentrates the solar energy. That’s why snow blindness is a real danger. Thanks to my solar panels that concentrated solar energy is turned into electricity. 

Solar electric panels are actually more efficient when cold -unlike solar thermal panels. Hot weather causes solar electric panels to experience something called electron scattering. In short, less of the solar energy gets turned into electrical energy. It’s counter intuitive, but that’s science for you. 

Longer days are just more cheerful. It’s a lot easier to get stuff done outside in the daylight. Even so, the darkness hasn’t stopped from doing things outside. With a headlamp and a high visibility jacket I’ll shovel snow or go for walks. Winter is way too long if you spend all of it inside.


Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Well that was interesting

Looks like the January 6 committee went out with a bang. That was interesting. Four criminal charges were send to the Justice Department. Trump continues to make History.

Now I know he has a hard core group of believers who listen to everything his says. I’m not looking to change their minds. Faith without proof is a religious belief and there’s no convincing someone to change their religion. 

However, it’s all fake news until you end up behind bars.

It’s time for the nation to move on, but we can’t move on until the legal stuff runs its course. We are still a nation of laws. 


Sunday, December 18, 2022

Snow Daze

We received our first significant snowstorm of the season. Our accumulation, at time of writing, is about 8 inches. We might get another inch or two before it’s all over. It’s a wet heavy snow so shoveling is bit of a chore. This storm hit very unevenly. Some people got a few inches and others got feet of snow. 

Saturday morning I shoveled a path to the road and dug out the mailbox. There was no sense in digging out the car as we had no need to anywhere. The town only made one pass with the snowplow down the center of the road. They are going to come back with the wing plow and bury both my driveway and walkway. Once they are done it’ll be worth digging out the car. 

The grid never even blinked during the storm. It still felt good to have the solar electric batteries topped off just in case. 

We lost the Internet Friday night and it’s still out. Fortunately, I can reach the new cell tower with my phone. It makes a decent hotspot. 

The long range forecast is predicting another Northeaster by the end of the week. Hope it’s snow rather than freezing rain. 


Saturday, December 17, 2022

Crossing into Canada

My niece borrowed my Blazer to make a quick trip into Canada. With the covid restrictions dropped it’s pretty much back to normal. One thing I had to do was to talk to my car insurance company. Canada requires a special proof of insurance card. My insurance company doesn’t charge to print one up. The border agents don’t usually bother asking to see it, but better to have it and not need it. 

My niece had her mace confiscated. That’s something to be aware of. However, they allow you to take bear spray across the border. It’s basically mace in a bigger can. The border agent even told her to bring that next time so the info is current.

I like to keep up to date on the requirements for crossing the border. My lovely wife and I keep our passports up to date and we know where they are. Canada is so close to us that it only makes sense to keep that option open. When your bug out options may involve an International border it only makes sense to be prepared. There are friends and relatives across the border who’d welcome us. It’s good to keep all options open.


Friday, December 16, 2022

Free Covid Tests

Just a heads up that free covid tests are available once more.

All you tax payers paid for it. Might as well get something for your tax dollars. I just ordered mine -and I don’t even pay taxes. 

It’s funny how we take them for granted now. In early 2020 decent reliable tests weren’t even available from hospitals. While the home tests aren’t perfect, it’s another tool to stay safe. With the flu going around and other respiratory illness, it’s handy to eliminate one virus anyway. 

It’s been my experience that not every part of the country will stock enough in drugstores. Better to have tests on the shelf than to drive all over town trying to find one. 

I know not everyone will bother with tests. That’s their business. However, if you are sick stay home, no matter what you may or may not have.


Thursday, December 15, 2022

Oil Price Hike

On Monday I ordered heating oil at $5.009/gallon. By the delivery date on Wednesday it was up to $5.099/gallon, a 9 cent increase in a couple of days. I can’t help but think they do that sort of thing on purpose. I’ve yet to get a surprise drop in price on delivery day. Maybe I have to change oil company.

At any rate, there’s now 100 gallons in the tank for emergency use. 

One of the reasons I decided to order heating oil is because there’s a big snowstorm on the way. We had just a dusting of snow on the ground when the delivery was made. After the storm I’d have to shovel and sand a fairly long path to the tank. I plan now so I can be lazy later. 


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

So now we have fusion?

We’ve had fusion for some years now. The problem is that up until now the energy needed to generate fusion was greater than the energy created. It is a big breakthrough but we have to keep it in perspective. The energy gain was about enough power to heat ten kettles of tea water. That’s not exactly something ready for commercial use. 

There’s a long running joke about fusion. Commercial fusion is 20 years away. Always has been. Always will be. 

My issue with commercial fusion isn’t about any dangers. Fusion should be fairly safe -should be. I guess my issue is with the way the grid should be configured. Fusion is a huge investment in a massive facility. It has the same drawbacks of any other massive power plant. All that energy has to be transmitted over long distances. If that one plant goes down a huge area would be in the dark. 

Personally, I think we’d be much more secure with a massively diversified power system. It’s already happening with solar and wind systems. The problem is that they are using new systems to tie into old grid architecture. We’d be much safer with the grid broken down into a huge number of micro grids. It would be a much more secure system. We’d also save a bundle on high energy distribution systems. 

Maybe fusion plants would make sense if built next to industrial processes that use huge amounts of electricity. Mining and refining come to mind. 

Guess we’ll see in 20 years or so.


Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Fuel prices

The price of gas is at a more reasonable level -if you don’t live in certain places on the west coast. One of my daughters lives in California and I can’t believe the prices. Of course, I don’t have to cross the country to see much higher prices. All I have to do is to take a short drive north into Canada. No wonder why so many people want to work from home. 

Of more concern to me this winter is the cost of #2 heating oil. At the end of the summer I poured 5 gallons of diesel into the house tank. That was just enough fuel for my furnace guy to do the annual service. 

A few weeks ago I call the oil company and discovered heating oil was going for $6/gallon. No thank you. The woodstove’s been working fine. Monday I checked and the price had dropped to $5/gallon. I ordered their minimum delivery, which is 100 gallons. That price is not guaranteed. They only deliver one day a week out in my neck of the woods. If their schedule is full sometimes it takes two weeks for them to get to me.

Last spring their minimum was not expressed in gallons but in dollars. At the time that was $300. They made the mistake of printing out a confirmation receipt at that price. By the time the delivery showed up the bill was closer to $390. Since I had a print out I was able to hold them to the $300 price. No wonder they are going by the gallon for me this year. Oh well. 

100 gallons of fuel is decent enough backup if my wife and I go somewhere for a while. The problem with a woodstove is that someone has to feed it. It’s also nice if I’m feeling under the weather and want to take it easy. 


Monday, December 12, 2022

Old Graveyards

New England has some very old graveyards. Compared to Europe they are brand new, but by North American standards they are ancient. 

Look at the birth and death dates and you’ll notice a awful lot of children compared to new graveyards. While life in general was harder, it’s disease that really took its toll on kids. 

There are a lot of negatives to the modern world, but a much lower childhood mortality rate is a solid plus. Most of that is due to vaccines and medicines. That’s just a fact. Before you go throwing out all modern medical practices spend some time in an old graveyard. Reflect on all those short lives. 

Of course, we’ve reached the point where medicines have more serious side effects than the problem they solve. Just listen to the side effects of drugs advertised on TV. Your problem might be ugly toenails, but the “cure”could destroy your liver. It seems there are more than a few of those drugs out there. One could be forgiven for not trusting all drugs and medicines. 

Health care definitely falls into the old 80/20 rule. You get eighty percent of the benefit from twenty percent of the effort. There are a lot of low hanging fruit when it comes to health care. There are easy and cheap things that take care of most health issues. For example, money spent improving nutrition and education could save billions trying to fix problems caused by bad habits. 

Another thing you’ll notice about old graveyards. There are quite a few people who lived to advanced old age. If they survived the diseases of childhood their active lifestyles and unprocessed foods did wonders. 

There’s a lot that can be learned form the past.


Sunday, December 11, 2022

Hunkered Down

Most years I can’t wait to head south to warm weather. One of the main issues is that my lungs suffered some damage during my firefighter years. Cold dry air irritates them and colds are tough to deal with. 

This year I haven’t been bothered by those issues too much. One thing that has certainly helped with the dry air is wearing a good face mask. I’ve been using RZ masks for the last few years. Some of my masks have caps instead of valves to be travel and hospital compliant. I’ve no connection to the company -just like their products. 

With that issue under control it’s been easier to get the exercise I need. Other physical problems that plagued me recently are currently not an issue. I’m finally starting to lose some weight. Not much yet, but it’s going in the right direction. 

It’s been really nice to connect with old friends. The tribe has gotten a bit scattered over the last couple of years as most of us turned inward. During the summer some friends and I made a point go gather weekly around the campfire. Here it is, well into December, and we are still gathering. Of course, we sit a lot closer to the fire these days. 

Reducing the area of the house I’m heating has saved a lot of money. An added bonus is that the part of the house we are living in is toasty warm. 

My lovely wife and I love to travel, but right now it’s been good to be close to home. Of course, I’m also in the planning stage of other adventures, so that’s good. We aren’t going to be hunkered down forever. 


Saturday, December 10, 2022

Grid Attack

People are shooting up key parts of the power grid. It’s happening all across the country. Either it’s a coordinated attack or a bunch of copy cats. The FBI is involved so there has to be suspicion of some serious stuff. It you are in a area that lost power you know it’s serious. 

Our power grid has a lot of big fat targets. Keys parts can be destroyed by something as simple as a high powered rifle. Even random shots can take infrastructure down. If you understand how the components work and their weak points it’s even easier. 

Security has been stepped up, but it’s almost impossible to protect everything. There’s too much to protect and it’s too easy to find weak points. What will probably happen is that when people are caught the government will throw the book at them to make an example. The hope is that harsh prison sentences will deter others. 

So how does that affect you or I? That depends. How important is grid electricity to you? Most people use it everyday for everything. What’s your backup power like? Can you stay comfortable without the grid? How long can you manage without? It might be a long time.

Here’s the thing nobody is talking about. There number of spare components for grid repair is limited. There’s a certain amount set aside of normal issues. Parts wear out and fail. Storms are a concern. Accidents happen. The power companies can swap among themselves if there are normal disasters. 

What they can’t handle is too much going down all at once. There are only so many spare parts and qualified people to install them. What might normally be a few days or a week without power could stretch out for much longer. Large population centers and key facilities will be fixed first. If you are not in a one of those places grid power could be gone for an extra special long time. 

One solution would be a massively decentralized grid. Power generated and used locally avoids much of the vulnerable infrastructure. Instead of a few dozen targets to take down most power it would take thousands of attacks -a much harder thing to accomplish.

In the mean time, better have your backup solutions handy.


Friday, December 9, 2022


I got to spend some time visiting with a friend who’s working as a middle school guidance counselor. He “retired,” got bored and went back to work. His wife has years to work yet so that part of the issue. Schools are having a hard time filling that position. My buddy was hired by a private company to do the job on a contract basis.  

He works in a fairly wealthy school district in southern New Hampshire. The kids have plenty of opportunities open to them. Money is not an issue. With all the opportunities and options in the world they all want to be Social Media Influencers. That’s the number one career option they want to follow. 

First of all, I didn’t even know that was a career. Apparently there are people making a living being personalities on social media. Go figure. 

These kids think they can just make videos on their phone of them doing nothing special and get a million followers. I suppose that can happen but I wouldn’t count on it.

A little research revealed some things the successful ones have in common. First of all it doesn’t hurt to be incredibly photogenic. They have interesting personalities. They have a solid grasp of video making. It can take many hours of editing to get a few good minutes of video. A lot of them have whole teams of people to do the technical stuff and the marketing. 

The pace can be relentless. You are only as good as your last video. The pressure of “always being on” takes its toll. Quite a few people burn out. 

So I guess Influencer can be a job. The thing is, the kids figure the seconds to minutes they see on the screen is all the work there is to it. 

Nobody wants to be a doctor, nurse, dentist, engineer, scientist, EMT, firefighter, construction worker, butcher, baker or candle stick maker. I hope we have someone around to keep the lights of civilization on. 


Thursday, December 8, 2022

To the hospital

In my previous blog I talked about my friend who’s in the hospital. I was appalled that he was still working from his hospital bed. Apparently there are people in his company that figured out the optics of that weren’t very good. His meetings have been canceled until he can work from home again. 

The good news is that it looks like he’ll be going home in a few days. It was looking bad for a while there. My lovely wife and I decided to make the three hour drive south to see him. We stayed with other friends so we could be there longer. 

Cancer sucks. 

My once athletic friend is now a very frail old man. The medical system can’t cure him. What they can do is play whack a mole with growths as they pop up. This time around they couldn’t find a growth causing his recent problems. Right now they are blaming his current issues on changes in his medication. 

It wasn’t a good time for us to go south for a couple days, but it was worth seeming my friend. He’s been like a brother to me. What kind of a friend would I be if I couldn’t make time to go see him? This could have been end of the road for all we knew. 

I have to say it again: cancer sucks.


Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Dying in harness

Monday I got a phone call from a good friend of mine. We go way back to middle school. He’s been struggling with an incurable cancer. There are treatments that are supposed to extend his time but they aren’t a cure. 

He called from the hospital. Another good friend was with him and I’m glad he wasn’t alone. He had an episode where he was mentally confused and could not hold down solid foods. The mental fog has cleared up, but he still can’t eat. The guy isn’t doing well.

So my other buddy drops in on him at the hospital and finds our friend in a zoom meeting. He’s working from his hospital bed. That’s just wrong. He claims he has to keep working for the medical insurance. That says so much about work in America and our health care system. The poor guy is supposed to retire next year but I don’t know if he’ll make it. 

I’m beyond disgusted. 


Monday, December 5, 2022

No Bad Weather

There’s a saying in snow country that there’s no bad weather, just bad clothes. There is some truth to that. If you have the proper gear even blizzards aren’t that bad. That being said, it’s surprising how many people don’t gear up properly. 

Basically they’ve gotten used to going from a warm house to a warm car. Remote car starters are popular as you can warm up the car before you get in. That’s all well and good until it isn’t. All it takes is for a breakdown or getting stuck to ruin your day. Dress like you might have to walk for miles in bad weather as you just might have to.

My lovely wife used to have a 50 mile one way commute through the mountains to get to work. Winter commutes were pretty bad, especially when she worked the night shifts. Nobody was out on the roads then. She knew she’d be on her own for a while if she got into trouble. She was always dressed for the weather and the car had survival gear like sleeping bags, space blankets, and emergency food and water. 

Currently there’s enough gear in our car that we could set up camp in the snow. Not only do we carry sleeping bags and blankets to keep warm, we even have a winter rated tent in the car. It might seem excessive and we may never use it. However, I’d rather be over prepared than one of those people with a thin jacket, no hat or gloves, and dress shoes. 


Sunday, December 4, 2022

Stealth Camper Van

There’s a lot of videos, blogs and articles about “stealth camper vans.” Seriously? Don’t even bother with stealth. It’s a waste of time. 

I could go into any Walmart parking lot and point to which vehicles were being lived it. My accuracy rate would be way up there. First of all, they are in the back of a Walmart parking lot. What the heck else would they be doing there if not for housing someone for the night? You see any van type vehicle in the regular overnight parking spots and odds are it’s someone’s home. 

If you see a van out on Federal land in a dispersed camping area -it’s occupied. You might as well put on some solar panels and other creature comforts. You aren’t fooling anybody but yourself. 

In my travels I’ve come across only two vehicles that had pretty good stealth. One was a big box truck. They could park in an industrial area near other work trucks and nobody would notice. I saw them in a county campground and they’d opened up hidden windows and a fold out staircase. The conversion was a work of art. When traveling there was no hint this was anything but your basic cube truck. 

Then there was a guy who had a “construction van.” It had a business name on the side and ladders on the roof. The guy made a habit of spending his nights parked near construction areas. His rig looked just like any of the other contractor vans out there. 

Of course, if I saw either of those vehicles parked on a Walmart back lot I’d be suspicious. 

Frankly, most “stealth van” builds aren’t worth it. Any security guard or cop with more than three months on the job gets a feel for who’s who. Stealth builds might fool a lot of people. What it won’t do is fool the very people who’ll knock on your door and tell you to move along.


Saturday, December 3, 2022

Climate Refugees

There’s a little store in the village down the road that sells a little of everything. You know the sort of place. They have everything from gas, to pizza, to hunting licenses. I had a 20 pound propane bottle in need of filling. They do that too. It’s much more economical to get a tank refilled then to do a tank swap. Not only that, the swap tanks are usually a bit on the light side and cost more too.

There was young man working there who’d I’d never seen before. Turns out it was the owner’s son. The guy used to live in Florida but his place was on the St. John’s River. Both hurricanes flooded him out and there’s nothing left. Now he’s here in the Great North Woods of New Hampshire. He’s probably safe from hurricanes for a bit. 

He’s not the first person to move up here after a hurricane. When Katrina wiped out New Orleans we got a bunch of new people. One guy said he moved up north as it was about as far away from the Gulf as he could get. 

We get some nasty weather, but I’ll take a blizzard over a hurricane any day. When southerners move north to avoid weather you know there’s a issue. 


Friday, December 2, 2022

Snow Squalls

Well that was interesting. I wandered out to my back lot to see what the firewood situation was like. We’ve been getting a lot of windy days and there’s plenty of trees on the ground. We also have a fair amount of standing dead wood. It’s all good and dry for the woodstove. 

The plan was to drop some of those dead trees, but it was too windy. It a minute it would go from sunny and calm to a snow squall. You don’t want to be in the middle of cutting down a tree when the wind picks up. I know that from my early years up here at the lake. 

I’d been dropping a lot of trees along the power line. It was going really well -until it wasn’t. My last tree was starting to fall in the correct direction. Then the wind came out of nowhere, lifted the tree up and sent it 180 degrees in the opposite direction. The tree collided with the power pole and snapped the top off. 

Then I had to make an embarrassing call to the power company. They sent a crew over. The first thing the guy said was, “Who’s the lumber Jack?”

“That would be me,” I sheepishly said. 

They fixed the pole and didn’t even charge me. They don’t give out any free power poles these days. One embarrassing encounter with the power company is enough, thank you very much.

With the conditions in mind I settled for dragging already downed limbs to the house. A man has to know his  limitations.


Thursday, December 1, 2022

Rail Strike?

Congress is busy trying to pass legislation to prevent a railroad workers strike. That might not necessarily prevent the strike. They would just make it an illegal strike. 

Frankly, this is all unnecessary. The railroads are making record profits. Over the years they’ve been shrinking their workforce. The workers have some very legitimate concerns. The smart thing would be to address those concerns. Instead the owners are leaning on their friends in Congress to force employees to keep working. Looks like President Biden will have to give up his “friend of the unions” claims. 

So how much of a big deal would a rail strike be? Very big indeed. There are three main ways goods are moved across the country. The most economical is by barge. That’s great for getting grain from the heartland down the Mississippi to the rest of the world. It’s not so good where there’s no water access. 

The next most economical is by rail. Most people don’t realize that the vast majority of bulk goods moves by rail. Rails, unlike canals, go just about everywhere. The nation would shut down without rail transport of goods. 

Trucks are the third major way goods are moved. It’s a lot more expensive than rail. Not only that, truck transport can only add on a limited amount of new capacity. 

Without rail we are looking at some serious shortages: food, fuel, chemicals, building materials, components, machinery, fertilizer -the list is endless. It would be a very good idea to be able to live off your preps for a while. Many things would no longer be available and the things that are will increase in price. That’s just supply and demand. 

Will they go on strike? I can’t say. However, if it was me I would not be put off by some law passed by Congress. Union leaders have a long history of being willing to go to jail. All union activity used to be illegal so that’s par for the course. Frankly, I’d support a wildcat strike as sometimes that’s what it takes. 

However, make sure you have your stuff squared away as it could get uncomfortable when the economy shuts down.