It’s been one heck of a week down here in Texas, as you may have seen. We hit our lowest temperatures in over 30 years, and our infrastructure – specifically our power grid – failed miserably. People went without power for days on end, half the state’s population either lacks running water or is under a boil notice – or both! Most of the boil notices should be rescinded by Monday, though.
For those of you who are much more accustomed to winter weather asking, “well, what’s the big deal?” The short answer is that we have our own power grid to avoid regulations, which covers some 85-90% of the state, and it’s not connected to the other main grids in the United States. Because of that deregulation, it’s been neglected, and there are no mandates to weatherize it. So when power plants literally froze, we couldn’t make enough power and we also couldn’t import any from elsewhere. There wasn’t enough power to keep water treatment plants online, and burst pipes led to a drop in pressure, which leads to a boil notice.
For Houston, this is the biggest “natural” disaster we’ve seen since Harvey, but the truth is Houston has been bouncing from disaster to disaster since 2015: massive floods in 2015 and 2016, Harvey in 2017, Tropical Storm Imelda in 2019, and now this – not to mention several more stressful near misses in the past couple years. So there’s a lot of compounded trauma lingering for people who have been here through all of that, without even getting into the devastation Covid-19 has had on our region.
Perhaps that’s why I didn’t resurrect The Hunker Down Chronicles and blog the apocalypse once more. I was just too tired. Also, keeping up with a nearly four year-old during a disaster event is a lot more work than taking care of a four month-old. I want to note: while it was quite cold, we were extremely fortunate to have power almost the entire time, and thanks to some prepping our pipes are still intact. So we’re doing just fine, but several of our friends and family were more heavily impacted. My parents were without power for around 36 hours. My wife’s family was without for a few days.
So when the mail finally arrived yesterday for the first time in a week, it was really nice to find a few delayed trades and a couple of returns in my mailbox. It provided some sense of normalcy. A reason to celebrate, like Andujar Cedeño turning two on this Sneaky ‘Stro card that finally puts my 1995 Ultra team set to bed. This came from Donny (distirbed1), amid a litany of:
Stickers! There were some 1989 O-Pee-Chee stickers as well, but these 1996 Panini offerings were the most exciting to me, as I’d never seen them before. This six-pack leaves me two short of a team set – I just need the team logo and Jeff Bagwell.
Donny must have come into a stash of packs at some point, because he had a lot of stickers for trade – and I had a lot of set needs for him, so I scooped up a few more for myself. The foil Nomo is quite nice in hand, but the full windup is even better!
I also got another package in from Shane (wayoutwest), who’s posted overseas. He had plenty of Astros goodies to hit my want list, so I decided to scoop up some early aughts cards, including a handful of 2001 Donruss Elite and this Bronze Foil parallel of Roy O from 2002 Diamond Kings. Sweet!
Shane also came into some Stadium Club Chrome at some point, which landed me a Mayfield refractor and a shiny Verlander Beam Team insert. Nice! I’ll miss Super Jack, but I’m not sure where he was going to find playing time here.
And finally, I found some minis to round out the trade! The Verlander is one of the extended series minis from 2020 A&G. The pair of Little Lions brings me up to 7 of the 16 cards in that series – one that seems a little harder to track down. As a cat person, it brings me great joy whenever I can check another one of these off the list.
Thanks guys for the trades, and a little return to whatever it is we’re calling “normal” these days. Maybe I’ll get around to pounding out some more posts soon.