Just Some Random Naughty Brain Drippings

A very long time ago, it was pointed out to me that I’m not exactly what people consider normal.

I thought about that for a minute, said to myself, whatever and went on my merry way.

I have always marched to a different drummer and I have pretty much done things my way whenever possible.

Hence I tend to think outside the box.

This happens in my subconscience also, without me ever even thinking twice about it.

Let me give you an example.

On my way to work this last evening, I stopped at the usual quickie mart type joint and picked up a couple of items. This joint is on a corner of a very busy thoroughfare that runs North and South.

There is naturally a set of traffic lights there.

There has also been a whole bunch of some kind of infrastructure construction that has been going on on the smaller East West two lane road at that same intersection.

They have that road tore to rat shit basically. It’s been that way for over a month and I don’t see them getting done with it anytime soon. They have torn that road up multiple times, patched it and there are currently several places with huge steel plates in the road covering up the trenches they have been digging.

Of course this means they have people and equipment all over the damn place and the obligatory traffic control people at various places standing there flipping their STOP signs around and around trying to keep some semblance of regular traffic flow.

Naturally traffic gets backed up here and there so you have to wait.

Well today they had progressed down this road far enough that they had come to another intersection with traffic lights.

So they had someone come in and flip a switch in the control box so that it tuned into a flashing red light for everyone, then stationed a sign flipper on each side to keep people moving and you just ignored the flashing red light.

Where am I going with this rambling introduction?

Well here is what was going through my head while I was stuck waiting.

The flashing red light reminded me of the control boxes that you sometimes see right next to the intersection. The one that someone opened up and flipped the switch to make it a flashing red four way stop.

You know what I am talking about, these,

Millions of people drive right by these things all over the world every day and completely ignore them.

I would bet there are quite a few of those millions of mobile morons who don’t even know what they are if they do happen to notice one.

These things are actually REALLY IMPORTANT in our modern world.

As I was sitting in traffic waiting for my turn to go through the hoopty do’s and divots in the road, I remembered one of these things that isn’t too far away from me that literally got flattened a few years ago.

Someone, somehow, managed to plow directly into one of them, at speed, in their vehicle.

It was a mangled pile of faded flat green painted metal with big bundles of different colored wires sticking out of the ground that looked like some mutant Saw Grass tuft made up of psychedelic strands.

I remembered that because it screwed up traffic in that area for literally months.

If I remember correctly, it took the city about four entire months to get that fixed completely.

Of course it was on a major intersection too.

It took quite a while for people to figure out alternate routes to avoid getting stuck in miles long traffic jams because you know, morons that can’t figure out how four way stops are supposed to work.

It seemed like every other day they were towing wrecked cars out of that intersection for a long time.

This is where the naughty thoughts come in.

Imagine if you will, some freakish turn of events where two or three of these traffic control boxes got, umm, catastrophically disabled let’s say, in a large metropolitan area, at major intersections, about two miles apart, simultaneously.

This is where my mind went, seriously, while waiting in traffic on my way to work.

In just the few minutes I sat there, a nightmare scenario played out in my head.

Now that I am sitting comfortably on my skinny ass here at home, the repercussions and ripple effects of such a happening can play out a little farther.

In short, it would fuck shit up so bad that it would be gridlock for miles in every direction, for weeks if not months.

Just by taking out a few non descript metal boxes sitting at a few intersections in some major city, anywhere.

It would just be tragic.

See, I told ya.

Just how many people do you know that would sit and war game that kind of shit without even really thinking about it just to pass some time?

56 thoughts on “Just Some Random Naughty Brain Drippings

    • Read a lot of comments. To bad we can’t all be neighbors. I was kidding when I said I would never think of those things.

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  1. I’m that way, and I’ve been told I was insane. It’s not insanity; it’s having a brain that doesn’t just sit idle and play with its fingers.

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  2. Dad used to have this big brass key on his ring. He’d flip that switch over near Texas Tech and then direct traffic after football and basketball games. He mentioned something along the lines of what you were idly musing…

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  3. That is good out side thinking of the box. You have the capacity to do civil disobedience and throw a monkey wrench and a humongous BFYTW! What ever it takes to disrupt local government. Local baby….

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  4. Nearly midnight here in tropical north Queensland, 25C/77F and 99% relative humidity, as it’s pissing down. The pyrotechnic display bloke is likely to have a few duds among his fireworks display. I’m not going to watch it in the rain, I’d bloody well need windshield wipers on my glasses! Thanks Phil, now I’m on another list. I’ll have to plead like your President who didn’t inhale: “I didn’t read anything, I just went there to look for pics of redheads, honest.”

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    • The regional Council decided that 2021 was going to be really shitty too, so didn’t welcome it in at all, but used the excuse that the celebration was rained out.

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  5. This is an interesting concept that someone like Matt Bracken or Kurt Schlicter could use in an upcoming work of fiction to disrupt things just at the right time for some nefarious (or patriotic) reason.

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  6. Down here in Texas, after the most recent hurricane most traffic lights in the Houston area and suburbs were down for weeks. Most businesses were still closed for a while so it wasn’t the usual mess, but I still had to work and it was terrifying to drive a motorcycle in the pre-dawn darkness with tons of idiots who have no idea how to handle a 4-way stop intersection. Worse yet were the morons who just pretended it was carmegeddon and plowed thru the intersections at speed figuring everyone else would stop.

    Traffic lights, power grid, trash collection, hell even just backing up the sewage plant would wreck major havoc. Most cities survive hanging on a thread. Just having workers (real workers, not office drones) not show up for several days would allow the little problems to grow out of control and everything shuts down.

    And yeah, I’ve thought about it.

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  7. I’m a Floridian. We figured it out years ago and there’s almost no issue. Every intersection becomes a 4-way stop when the lights are out. You can tell the idiots that don’t understand that but we roll right along w/ it. I did live in Corvallis for a couple of years and don’t think they’d be able to figure it out, though. It could be fun to watch!

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  8. Just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
    Civilization as liberals know it is hanging by a slender thread, they just have no idea how slender and fragile that thread can be.

    And no sir, you are not the only one that thinks these thoughts. Being part of a community stops us from acting on these thoughts, but once that communal bond is removed, let’s just say things can get fun and interesting quite quickly and easily.

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  9. Read a comment on another site from a guy who had a couple of buddies who were in special forces. They were at a bar and, after a few drinks, the buddies started brainstorming on how a few guys could shut down an entire city. He said it was scary to see how easy it would be.
    No, he didn’t give a list of any of their ideas.

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    • Simple. Hit electric distribution, traffic control, water, sewer and communications centers. Not the buildings, like in Nashville. Nope. Hit the underground sections. Which are usually right next to a convenient storm drain system or sewer.

      3 to 4 small bombs and you can shut down a section. 6-10 and the city is dead. The key is locating where the nexus of each system is. Trash a water system? City dead. Trash a sewer system? City dead. Trash electric? City dead.

      Trash 2 systems, really dead. Trash Electric, Gas, Telecom, Water, Sewer, and transportation control? City is fuuuuuu….cckk….eeed.

      Big cities have no cushion. Small towns, even ones on the edge of disappearing, can hardscrabble stuff together. But get to be a big city with lots of urban youths? Dead, deader than if hitting it with a nuke. You can rebuild after a nuke.

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      • That under paid blue collar guy that works for the city knows exactly where all those points are and probably lives rural.

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  10. Cell phone towers.
    Do you know where they are in your AO?
    Not to mention power transformers, water treatment plants, and such fun things as natural gas lines as Aspen recently discovered.
    Make sure that the left claims responsibility.
    Oh, and be certain you do not bring your .gov personal tracking device with you while participating in the festivities.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Railroads, warehouses/distribution hubs.
      The list goes on and on.
      A handful of dedicated people could shut this entire country down fairly easily.
      Speaking of which, got this from WRSA just today.

      …One certainty: of all the years I have spent in wars and conflicts, I have never been to a country that is more vulnerable to itself than is the United States.

      Means and Motive? America is filled with millions of highly educated people with incredible skills. Tons of people who put rockets into space as their day job. Others design communications infrastructure, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, metals, magnets, computers. Having spent more than half my life overseas, I’ve never seen any country with such a deep bench of amazingly serious people who have direct access to amazingly serious nodes and other vulnerabilities…

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      • Gas and coal (lignite) fired power plants.
        Usually every site has two boilers for redundancy.
        Something tells me to stay away from nuke plants though.

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        • Like I said, and others better educated and skilled, ten thousand Dorners and we will get this country back and deaden the scurvy liberals for at least a 100 generations.

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  11. “Somebody threw a spanner, and he threw it in the hole….” Dire Straits, Industrial Disease
    I think the general idea is called “Monkey Wrenching” after the 1975 book by Ed Abbey, The Monkey Wrench Gang.
    And you’re not a prepper unless you game out ALL possible scenarios to be prepared for, from a flat tire, to the fridge dying (my Christmas present this year), to TEOTWAWKI.

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  12. I’m one of those guys who has been showing up for decades on roads and randomly tearing them up for water, sewer, electrical ect. Traffic control is my favorite gig these days. It’s light on my old beat up body and it’s a pretty important function. You all know what it’s like to have shitty flaggers on a job. It’s quite impactful. But I do remember a job we did where we had to gear up and go tie in some new water service to an existing service that had been in the ground for 50 years already. So here we are on a Saturday morning full of piss and vinegar. I have 4 flaggers and have the busiest street in the city down to one lane so the pipe crew could get the trench to where they need it. But before we could do anything the city guys had to turn the water off to 500 customers. Imagine my surprise that between our guys and the city nobody could find the the right water valves to shut that section down long enough to cut into it. That was when I realized that if some asshole went out there in any city and just started randomly turning valves off for a few miles at 3am it might take them forever to get service back on. Then I realized natural gas and the underground transformers and every thing else was open to manual adjustment, so to speak. That morning ended up being a total waste. The city had to pay us time and equipment for 4 hours before we finally went home. It took them a few days to figure out what valve did what. So much for blue prints.

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  13. One of the things that really fucked up some of the businesses a few years back… a guy who got fired went out to the telephone panel box outside the building. They’re just like all the stop light boxes… except they have the old ‘punch panels’ with itty-bitty wires punched in. Guy was so pissed, he took a wooden handled garden rake and literally raked the interior of the panel box, ripping out -everything- allllll the itty bitty wires and with it ALL the comms for the entire business complex shit the bed for two weeks…I was on a paid vaykay as part of that particular shitshow They had to upgrade (big $$$) and rewire the whoooooole place. Lots of places still use them b/c upgrading costs a shit-ton

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  14. The concept has been played out many times. You will find only a few in the cities are on the inside lane regarding this, with actual plans for specific paths in the cities regarded as critical for ingress or egress – they have a plan.
    However……
    The contingency plans for clean water are not normally as well planned. Remember, once any population center has the potable water supply disabled, it leaves only a select number of sources for drinking water:
    Breweries, Coca-Cola, Pepsi bottlers (they are required in many states to use their own in-house water treatment. The same goes for some of the coffee franchises, etc..
    There are some, but the reality is there aren’t that many.

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    • And this will be the major cause of mortality in very short order for the marshmallow people. When they start to get hungry and thirsty enough, they’ll eat and drink things they shouldn’t. Uncontrolled vomiting and diarrhea can kill in a matter of hours. Not to mention not having a clue about hygiene when the faucet stops running.

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  15. Just so you know, those traffic control boxes make great smokers. There’s already rackmounts on the inside for your racks, and ventilation.

    All you have to do is make a smoke box.

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  16. Oh Man Phil, you’re reading my mind there. that’s the sorta shit I stay awake at night dreaming up……. among other devious scenarios. Like shutting off every truck in the country and watching the shitties squirm.
    Maybe thats why you’ve collected the following you have, all the misfit deplorable dirt people troglodytes got no where else to go……. Ahhhh, I see I’m in good company eh!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. And all of us Old Farts who built, installed, and maintained this stuff for decades will just sit back and watch.

    Probably chuckle a bit, too, when the youngsters realize they don’t know shit, and make things five times worse trying to figure it out……

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    • That’s just it. When shit gets spicy there won’t be many of us gray hairs jumping in our pickup trucks to go save the day. They have made it abundantly clear that they want a world without us. I’ll be more than happy to provide just that for them.

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  18. As a 64 year old Gramps, who has been around the block a few times so to speak, I totally am with you, Great minds do think alike, at least that is what they say..

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  19. All y’all gotta remember is this – what one Engineer can do, another can undo. I’m VERY well-versed in how to unsrew screwups, but it also works the other way around! I’ve BTDT, and all of you pointed out some extremely vulnerable hit points of Modern Society. There are others. BTW, NO need to take out nuke plants, just the switchgear.

    Another thing – wanna spread chaos? Take out the EBT systems and watch the Big Cities go ape! Just the EBT (yes, it can be done without touching anything else…), and the yard apes and welfare queens are gonna freak. Tough on the innocent kids, though. Which is why I try to NOT be dependent on the Gubmint.

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    • TPTB have already run test cases of that very scenario in a few cities to judge the timing and effects. They called it a “computer glitch”, but it was no such thing. Things go berserk within 24-48 hours. These are people who don’t keep a days worth of food at home.

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      • Using my two favorite techniques of course.
        Brute Force and Ignorance.
        Wrap chain around the box and hook it to a truck with enough slack to get a running start.
        Or you could douse the box with something flammable and melt the contents I suppose.
        Just thinking out loud here….

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        • No you just have to open the box and yank out a few of the modules that control the lights. They pretty much take the same key unless the city has placed their own padlocks on them. I used to work on these. Yes I still have a key.

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      • Thermite. Easier to make that you think. It is why we can not bring more than 4oz of liquid on a plane. “Just a few household chemicals mixed in the right proportions.”

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        • Actually, thermite requires 0 ounces of liquid.
          Iron oxide (rust) flakes, and aluminum flakes, in equal measure, set off with a fuse of magnesium ribbon, and will burn at 4000° or so until material is exhausted.
          All available by the pound or the ton on the interwebz, and able to be premixed, and set in handy empty soda cans, or even carried in baggies.

          Be quite a bad day if someone hit all the stoplights at freeway offramp/onramp intersections. And telco landline block boxes around downtown. And cell phone repeater towers. And the odd electrical cable vault. Let alone a dozen or so in electrical distribution yards on the main transformers.

          Even worse if they connected electrical wire across train tracks, and made it look like trains were stopped all over the place. Worse still if they managed to get the railroad crossing gates to drop and stay down.

          And god forbid someone vented a gas main into the sewer system, and then it somehow sparked off after a few thousand cubic feet of methane had built up. In any number of places.

          I’m SWAGuessing for $200-300 or so you could take down an entire city, possibly even a good chunk of the power grid for hundreds of square miles around. In an hour. Mega-bummer if it was 6AM on a Monday.

          That’s before someone started leaving boxes, bags, etc., with wires and ticking clocks near important buildings, and mailing white powder everywhere.

          I’d never do any of that, of course, and neither would anyone on this site, because it’s all hugely illegal, and we’re all solid law-abiding citizens; but the hallmark of criminals is that they don’t care about the laws against that sort of thing, do they?

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          • Aesop,
            Though liquid is not required to initiate a thermite reaction in place of the exothermic reaction of the magnesium ribbon one can use a strong oxidizer and a strong reducing agent to start the desired reaction. Both of the agents are available from many hardware stores in liquid form. (If you have access to lab chemicals potassium permanganate and 30% peroxide work quite well.)
            Side note: The wood be jihadist on the plane was given a blocks of aluminum, iron and a file, and was instructed to go into the plains lavatory to shave the block to make the metal flakes. He had one water bottle each of the mentioned liquids to kick things off if he ever got done in the lav.

            Break
            Agreed that if things get sporty, the cities will be vulnerable to infrastructure attacks. Blocking RxR crossings would have the multiplier of blocking a choke point. Places like Chicago with their spiderweb of rails would/could be a nightmare. And your thought on a gas explosion in the storm drains would additionally bend the water, telephone, fiber, sewer running along side. Chaos would be the word of the day.

            I would rather spend my time dreaming up new ways to benefit our community than how to break it. But if that is the game they have placed on the table, so be it. BFUTW it is.

            Deplorables >>> Ungovernables

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  20. It gets worse. GADoT keeps putting in “diverging diamond” interchanges (pleasant hill @ i-85) that, if someone drives through the controller, the intersection becomes a roadblock. at least with normal intersections, if the power is out it just becomes a messy 6-lane 4-way stop.

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  21. I live in the sticks up here in North Maine, 35 miles from the nearest stoplight.
    A couple years ago, though, we were driving around Vegas and there was a major power snafu that turned off all the stoplights.
    I was truly amazed at how orderly the intersections were, even with all the crazy Hispanics and illegals that normally would run you over when the lights WERE working.

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    • Lake County Oregon. 8,358 sq. miles, and not ONE stoplight in the county (there is a flashing yellow/red where hwy31 meets hwy395). I’ve flown over the Oregon Outback, and Nevada, and Idaho, and as a small plane pilot, you’re always asking yourself where you’d land if you had to set it down. There are places out here thirty miles from the nearest road–and that road might see half a dozen cars a day. Definitely a thought provoking pucker factor here.

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  22. Same here, I think about stuff most people haven’t even considered. I remember after 9/11 people were wondering when the next plane would hit something and I said to a few people it wouldn’t be a plane because we’re now looking for it it will be either a…and I listed a number of different things. They were like how do you know that and I said I think outside many boxes and have played role playing games for years and have learned to not think along the straight conventional lines. To quote Alice’s Restaurant they all moved away from me on the bench.

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  23. And that one explosion in Nashville shut down many cell phones, all cell phone to landline (and vice versa) traffic for days, and shut down 911 services in communities hundreds of miles away. And this went on for almost a week. I have worked in the petroleum pipeline industry and in the electrical distribution industry for enough time to realize that our infrastructure is incredibly fragile. Incredibly fragile.

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