Christmas, (and a deep, deep freeze) is almost here in Texas. Don't forget the 4 P's of cold weather: People, Pets, Pipes, and Plants. Not sure what you do about those P's, but I know they're important when it gets cold. Get on it.
OK, if you honestly don't know the P's? Turn on any local newscast, it's pretty much in the bylaws that they must show you how to wrap your Pets, er, Pipes and do all those P things to PrePare for bad weather... and this will be repeated in every segment.
We used to take for granted that the electricity would stay on. Unless high lines literally froze and broke, or trees fell on them, or they were blown down in a killer storm. But after last year's grid failure, everyone is a bit fearful. Generator sales have skyrocketed, while faith in ERCOT has plummeted. The ironically named Electric Reliability Council of Texas assures us that they have changed management and that the grid can withstand several days of freezing temperatures throughout the state. BTW, if you missed our recent podcast this last weekend, take a listen. We had a great discussion with Mike Shiloh, the publisher of "The Texas Energy Report." Mike believes that ERCOT is in better shape and that some changes have been made to the grid. But his overall theme that he returned to again and again: our insatiable demand for more and more electricity is pushing us to a limit that can't be met by any current production. That goes for traditional oil and gas sources combined with all the new renewable sources going on line. With our aging grid and older technology running much of our production, we're in poor shape to meet future needs. And the future, he said, is much, much closer than we imagine - driven continuously by new businesses still flocking to Texas and related population growth.
If Christmas is your holiday, the Outlaws wish you a Merry one. If you celebrate holidays rooted in other faith traditions, we wish you happiness also. For our non-believing, heathen friends... well, have a great week off!
Enjoy the season. As much as we Outlaws can often identify with Ebeneezer, we really don't need to be visited by ghosts that want us to tour around our past, present, and future. We're tired. We just got warm under the blankets. It's bad enough to get up to pee, but floating around our misguided childhoods and misspent youth is just too much. We'll be good. We'll get the big turkey and Timmy will get his surgery and sure, that Bob Cratchit slacker will bet his extra two dollars an hour. (NO overtime!) But please, move on. It's cold outside.
A little holiday housekeeping: We'll try to keep our newsletter schedule on target (midweek release.) But we may take a holiday or two on our podcast. (Guests tend to laugh at us or hang up abruptly when we call during their winter break!) We are looking at our podcast schedule for the coming year. Scheduling can get complicated, and we may go to a biweekly (every two week) release. Give us your feedback at email@example.com or in the "Discussion" section below or through Facebook.
There was so much TrumpNews this week. He's that White Elephant, or rather, Orange Elephant gift that you can't unload. But it looks like we are all getting a copy of his tax returns under the tree this year! He'll be so happy to finally keep that campaign promise made so long ago! And it was only a couple of weeks ago, that his "Organization" was convicted of tax fraud. It seems that some of his old pals are slinking away from him. Take Roger Gray...
This week, Roger finds himself in very uncomfortable territory. Don't tell anyone he agrees with John Bolton. He has a reputation (of sorts) to maintain.
Texas' handling of the immigration crisis has not put James Moore in a holly-jolly mood. Nor the fact that Abbott and his cronies continue their efforts to criminalize the delivery of gender-affirming care. At the same time, the minions are taking some deep dives into DPS records to ascertain the names of Texans who have changed their gender on their driver's licenses. For a party that brands itself as all about "limited government" and "local control," they sure have become big on "absolute control of everyone else."
But Myra Jolivet is doing her best to put us in a holiday mood. Or maybe redirect us toward a holiday mood. She once again shines her light by providing some uplifting stories about people who are making (- against all odds -) a real difference. IN TEXAS, Y'ALL! (I know! Right? But f'reeelz!)
Bundle up. Take care of them P's. Steam the tamales. Put out the cookies for Santa. Settle in for a long winter's nap. And have a great holiday.
And thank you for being a part of the Texas Outlaw Writer family.
-Chris, Jim, Myra, Roger, and our many contributors and podcast guests.