Doomstead Diner Menu => Doomsteading => Topic started by: Eddie on August 17, 2013, 07:00:30 PM

Title: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on August 17, 2013, 07:00:30 PM
Yesterday after work I finally managed to connect with the horse farm guy near my work, whom  I've been talking to, who has manure for free as well as a huge pile of blackland prairie soil he is willing to have hauled off. He loaded my trailer for free, too, with his big ass tractor, and I made my way north and west to the 'stead, a distance of about 30 miles. I explored some new backroads, trying to find a way to get from point A to point B without having to drive on the Interstate or 183N. I wanted to go slow to keep from having the load all blow away. I've found that if I drive 50mph the poop stays put without a tarp.

It was an interesting drive from a geographic perspective. The horse farm, just to the north and east of my office, is just on the very southern edge of what was once the Great Plains, and you can still get the feel for that, even though the native grasses are long gone, and the buffalo that roamed here are ancient history. Actually, just to the west of my office, across the freeway, is a street called Chisolm Trail, and the funny thing is that it actually is the original Chisolm Trail that herders once used to drive cattle from South Texas to the Kansas railheads.

I drove north and then west, into rocky outcroppings where limestone has been quarried for 150 years, and is still being strip-mined. Mostly you don't see the quarries, which are not visible from the road. This is the northern edge of what is called the Texas Hill Country, which is the part of Texas that's generally considered the most beautiful part of the state, although it's always been on what we call the "dry line" between East and West. Drought cycles have always been a part of life here, at least for a long time.

 John Graves wrote about that in his ecologically precocious book, Goodbye to a River. He wrote that back in 1959, long before anyone ever talked about climate change. I have a copy of that book I got him to sign around here somewhere. He died a week or so ago, John did. He was one of our best Texas writers, about the age of my own parents or just a few years  younger. I'm sorry he's gone, but he was getting really old. I think I've read everything he ever wrote. He lived just to the north and west, up in Glen Rose Texas.

 He and Fred Gipson are about my favorite Texas authors. Gipson has been gone a for a long time, but he also wrote some books, not as well known as the ones they made into blockbuster movies, like Savage Sam and Old Yeller, that also touched on themes of what we'd now call permaculture. He wrote a great little book called The Home Place, about a guy who moves back to the ranch he grew up on and works on improving the soil and bringing back the native grasses. That was in 1950. Wherever you find yourself, if you look, you can always find someone who trod a similar path before you came along.

I drove through the countryside, which is filled with small and some larger ranching operations, mostly part of the fossil fuels based Big Ag paradigm, but also lots of places occupied by folks who just love the country, and raising horses and cows and goats. There are literally thousands of small freeholders in the rural country around Austin, each with a family trying to carve out their own little piece of the American Dream. It isn't as easy as it used to be, but  most of them look like they're prospering. But the money generally doesn't come from the land, but rather the land is a place to spend the money from some job working in corporate America.

On my place it looked like maybe I'd gotten a half inch or so of rain, the big holes in the creek with standing water in them, but still far from full or running.

I dumped the little trailer and grabbed a beer from the fridge in the cabin, which is still hanging in there but not cooling like it once did. It will be replaced with a smaller unit with an Energy Star rating, something better to run off the panels when that eventually becomes a reality. Afterward, I didn't hang around, but headed back down the 183 corridor, which put me at my door in West Austin in a short 45 minutes. Much of the way is a toll road now, with a 75 mph speed limit. I hauled ass and was home long before dinner time.

I played around with the PMA welder head I ordered, which came in yesterday too. I am trying to use a standard bracket from theepicenter.com to mount it and a 10hp diesel. I don't understand everything about this one yet. It looks like it might have to have a battery to work, which is a disappointment for a device that is supposed to generate electricity. It's part of the welding control module, whatever that is.

I also picked up two 1 hp 48V PMA DC motors which can be used to generate engine driven DC too. It now becomes all about fabricating mounts and sourcing pulleys. It is simple to rig a v belt drive, but not necessarily easy to find the right components to make the drive parts of these things do what you want it to do, which is to deliver a specific rpm.





Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on August 17, 2013, 07:17:34 PM
DING DING DING! We have a WINNER.

This one goes up on the Diner Blog Eddie.

What do you want for your Byline?  Real Name or an Anon?

I need some Pics to Dinerize it.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Karpatok on August 17, 2013, 07:41:11 PM
I really enjoyed this Eddie. It made me nostalgic for the mythical west of my country that I really never knew. It also made me nostalgic for my 6speed Ram and trailer which I knew well. It's sickening to see our country go down and fade to rot without hope. I used to believe in people like Franz Fannon {"The Wretched of The Earth"} but I know now that those ideas' at least for the wretched in this country, did more harm than good. I am not Fannon by a long shot, and simply have no answers or even beliefs about the state of injustice in the world. What I liked about driving on a beautiful day in the country was that I could forget the wretched and the violence and the suffering and just work. I hired and worked with good working men, many of whom I came to love, who had left their homes in search of work to feed themselves and their families, just as our ancestors did before us when coming to this rough land so full of promise. Are there seeds of destruction planted in all creation? I think so, because as the wheel turns all comes to fruition and passes away. So this vicarious journey into the "old Texas" becomes elegiac with mourning. Karpatok
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on August 17, 2013, 09:23:35 PM
Eddies trek to the toothstead trail!!! I hear you loud and clear eddie and k. Ive moved from the biggest state with most rapidly growing city with the lowest unemployment and highest wages etc where they replace buildings built in the 70' and 80's for the hell of it, to the smallest state with the highest unemployment with tiny towns that have not even grown in 100 years and buildings all built in the 1800's.

Then to get even more lost by time I took the track to my new place (this week coming, cant wait) where I had only been once before with the estate agent. Being so remote you listen to any signal you can get on the radio and as I got to the gate looking at the mist among the trees 500m high up, or about 1500 ft, what played was classical music from the 1800's. I just felt like it could easily have been 150 years ago, so peaceful and beautiful. Its called 'picnic hill' and I could imagine in the old days before there were roads or cars it would have been worth the trek to take the object of your affection up, even if you carried her, to get the romantic atmosphere, and maybe get some lurv.
After a little wander I headed back down the private road and was met by a guy who was the lost identical twin of Brian Denehy, big ol fella in Stihl suspenders, holding a pickaxe and parked his pickup in the middle of the road. Friendly enough once he knew who was poking around. Told me how they 'live off the end of the rifle' and grow most of their own food, and how another fella is a proper butcher who can slaughter and butcher beasts for ya and his grandson goes to the school with my son and so on. And its like that with everyone, its rude not to stop and talk be it the sandwich shop, the post office, petrol pump, museum, anyone anywhere.

Kk driving a 6 speed Rammm, damn.


Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on August 18, 2013, 10:52:54 AM
DING DING DING! We have a WINNER.

This one goes up on the Diner Blog Eddie.

What do you want for your Byline?  Real Name or an Anon?

I need some Pics to Dinerize it.

RE

Real first name is fine. My latest attempts to post pics here in my comments were a failure. I need to find that resizing site I used before. I'll see if I can get some loaded. Not sure the post is worthy of the blog page, though. Whatever you think.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on August 18, 2013, 11:12:38 AM
Real first name is fine. My latest attempts to post pics here in my comments were a failure. I need to find that resizing site I used before. I'll see if I can get some loaded. Not sure the post is worthy of the blog page, though. Whatever you think.

You can resize the pics with the "paint" accessory program in Windows.  Make sure you save with a new name so you don't lose the original full size pic.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on August 19, 2013, 09:35:57 AM
(http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get2/I0000XPit_gmZdaM/fit=1000x750/Lucas-truck-breakdown.jpg)

Some days internal combustion devices just don't act right.

Those of you who have messed about in boats might appreciate this. The only thing worse than a boat that doesn't run is a boat that runs just well enough to leave you stranded. I'm zero for two on my last two attempts to take the kids out in our old Mastercraft. After the last bad Sunday afternoon, I spent a Monday changing spark plugs and trying to dilute and fortify a dodgy tank of gas...yesterday the boat ran extremely well...until I pulled up to our dock...then it quit and refused to start... Eventually I figured out I have a stuck float in one of the carburetor primaries, causing the engine to flood out at idle.

The kids paddled the boat back to the boat ramp and put it on the trailer. Then, my son managed to get my truck to hang up in four wheel drive low range. I didn't notice this until much later, when I got ready to drive home, and by then it was dark and all the other revelers had left in their cars. I had to drive home for 50 miles in low range...which I believe more or less destroyed my FWD. I made it home but just barely.

Cars are so easy to take for granted, until yours starts failing and you're wondering if you're going to make it back. And driving that truck, winding it out in low range, just listening to the gears in the transfer case chewing themselves up while the engine was working double just to push us down the road...it made me feel like shit. This morning I still feel like shit.

So, my truck is broke down...boat broke down...two tractors broke down. And I'm supposed to leave for a short vacation Saturday morning...no time to take care of any of it until I get back.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on August 19, 2013, 05:01:34 PM
Yeeouch! You should have waited for rain or ice on the road to take the strain off your drivetrain. For Shame.

No seriously, that sucks enough to make a grown man cry. :BangHead:
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on August 19, 2013, 11:02:07 PM
Some days internal INFERNAL combustion devices just don't act right.
Fixed that for ya  8)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on September 10, 2013, 09:26:52 AM
Too many projects, too little time.

It's time to take stock and prioritize.

Current projects:

1. The Horse Shit Project, aka the Manure Compost Pile
2. The Big Generator Project (building a generator using the 30HP Changfa diesel)
3. The Solar Installation
4. The Wind Generator Project
5. The Zena Welder/Generator Project
6. The Solar Hot Tub Project

In addition, I have fence building and gardening to do. More beds to build for the back yard in town. Fall garden to plant. I'm getting behind on that, but I have lots of veggies I nursed through the summer. I should plant more though.

All current projects require a working truck. As of yesterday, the truck is In The Shop. As soon as it's working, I'll get back to project number one, which is collecting "number two"  from the donor horse farms. I am getting calls wondering if/when I'm going to get around to it.

Now that I at least have the 24V genny, the Big Generator Project is not a huge priority, but.. that one and both Wind and Solar all require some welding and fabrication using metal. So I need to finish numero five (the Zena welder)...which involves sourcing one more small air-cooled engine, maybe a gas engine...cheaper (and I already have a diesel genny online and one in the works).

I do have a big old crackerbox welder and a small gas shielded MIG unit, but to use the crackerbox I need to install a new 240V plug out at the 'stead. I haven't used the MIG since I quit fooling with car restoration...but it's a small wire feed job and not the best for welding tubing and plate steel. The Zena will have the advantage of being portable...a real plus, and probably a necessity for some of the wind and solar install.

So...I need to fabricate a square tubing frame for The Big Chink Generator...I need to fabricate a wind generator pole using pipe...and some plate steel and channel for a hinged base. I can fab the solar panel mounts using pipe and quarter inch angle iron.

Also on the wind and solar projects I still have to source some charge controllers and inverters and lots of wire and connecting bits....I've just about figured out which ones I want, but I have to spend some FRN's on getting them.  Likewise, I have to get  batteries...but that needs to wait...batteries should always be the LAST item for an off-grid project, because as soon as you get them, you have to start feeding them...unless you can get them dry, which you used to be able to do, but not so much anymore.

Presently, with two tractors broken, I only have the backhoe for digging and shit moving. It's too big to trailer on my trailers...so getting both tractors fixed is a priority. I need to check on the one I dropped off (being fixed by a local retired military type...good but slow)..and I probably should go ahead and take the hydraulic pump off the big IHC tractor that I use to dig post holes. That or trailer it to the shop too...except I need a TRUCK for that, dammit.

This just in....The Tranny Shop says $2000 worst case scenario to fix the truck 4WD. I said go ahead.

I sure do understand why farmers usually go in debt for new tractors and pick-ups...it just costs so much time and energy and money to fix old shit...but at this point, I WILL NOT bite, not even for the 5YR no interest come-on (available right here and now for both tractors and trucks, btw). No more debt if I can help it.

Believe it or not, I can also get no interest financing on the wooden soaking tub of my dreams...I might just have to bend a little on that one, since I could pay that one off in a month or two if I had to...LOL. Even though the hot tub is just a luxury, I think it's important to have some progress going on the Retreat aspect of the 'stead. And a hot soak would be damn nice after a hot day of hauling shit. (Don't worry, I'll take a shower before getting in the tub). It will be solar and/or wood heat only, and no jacuzzi jets...just a big cedar tub. Solar powered pumping for the tub too. I have most of the stuff sourced for that project too, but hesitating to spend the FRN's what with truck and tractor issues.

I just re-read this post, and I think it sounds as manic as Dirdy Birdy at his finest. Just as well. I probably won't get much done on this list for at least a week or two. Maybe by then I'll be mellowed out a little.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Surly1 on September 10, 2013, 09:35:17 AM
Doesn't sound manic at all. You said at the top, "too many projects, too little time."

All makes sense.

Fully agree about the hot tub. A good soak after a long of physical work is not only restorative but highly reinforcing. It will keep you going and give you something to look forward to...
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on September 10, 2013, 01:45:29 PM
1. Get truck working
 2. Manure Compost Pile
   a. Get truck working
   b. Collect manure from horse farms
 3. The Zena Welder/Generator Project
    a. Source small air-cooled engine / install 240V plug at 'stead
  4. The Big Generator Project (building a generator using the 30HP Changfa diesel)
     a. Get welder working
     b. Fabricate a square tubing frame
  5. The Solar Installation
     a. Source some charge controllers, inverters, lots of wire and connecting bits
     b. Get welder working
     c. Fabricate solar panel mounts using pipe and quarter inch angle iron
  6. The Wind Generator Project
     a. Get welder working
     b. Fabricate a wind generator pole using pipe
     c. Fabricate hinged base using some plate steel and channel
     x. Get batteries
 7. The Solar Hot Tub Project
 8. Fence Building
 9. Gardening
   a. Plant fall garden
   b. Build beds for back yard
 10. Fix tractors
    a. Check on one that is dropped off
    b. Move hydraulic pump / trailer to shop
That look more manageable?  ;D
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on September 10, 2013, 02:01:58 PM
Looks much more do-able. Hopefully the truck is handled, or will be before I leave town.

Welder next. I'm going with the Harbor Freight Predator (Honda clone). Now if I can just find one of their 20% off coupons...I think the only other stuff I'll need is a drive pulley or two, and a belt. I'm going to try to use one of these for a mount.

Oops, looks like I posted a link to a copyrighted image. My bad. Anyway, here's a similar pic of a mount from Mike's windmill shop. I don't think Mike will mind.

(http://mikeswindmillshop.com/images/PMAdetailspage1part1A.jpg)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on September 10, 2013, 02:13:30 PM
The Zena looks like a car alternator, except it has a little "mystery box" attached. Not sure what's in there.

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRMgMZvWQxQYehykT6I_UXazDKhafI30a7e_ww1CLrrFAGrf9582w)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on September 10, 2013, 04:33:58 PM
Welder next. I'm going with the Harbor Freight Predator (Honda clone). Now if I can just find one of their 20% off coupons...I think the only other stuff I'll need is a drive pulley or two, and a belt. I'm going to try to use one of these for a mount.
http://www.harborfreight.com/20off-coupon912-aff-17560.html?utm_source=cj&utm_medium=aff&utm_campaign=wts-coupons&hftref=cj (http://www.harborfreight.com/20off-coupon912-aff-17560.html?utm_source=cj&utm_medium=aff&utm_campaign=wts-coupons&hftref=cj)
Title: Battery Making
Post by: RE on September 10, 2013, 05:12:20 PM
Likewise, I have to get  batteries...but that needs to wait...batteries should always be the LAST item for an off-grid project, because as soon as you get them, you have to start feeding them...unless you can get them dry, which you used to be able to do, but not so much anymore.

Add this to your Projects from Windpower.org.  :icon_sunny:

How to Make Your Own Batteries (http://windpower.org.za/batteries/batteries.html)

(http://windpower.org.za/batteries/motortest.jpg)
Looks like an Eddie Project to me!

Quote
Have you ever wanted to make your own homemade lead acid battery? Lead acid batteries were invented in 1912 and in essence haven't changed much since. Two plates of lead immersed in 30% sulphuric acid produce about 2V of electric potential after being charged at 2.15V or more. The greater the surface area, the greater the maximum current that can be taking in during charging, and given out by the battery cell. A lead acid cell is typically about 70% efficient - to get 100 AmpHours out you need to put 143 AmpHours in. At room temperature, charging a cell below 2.25V is 'safe' in that it will not cause gassing - at higher voltages water is split into hyrdogen and oxygen gasses. Deep cycle batteries are ideally charged at about 2.5V per cell. Forming the plates is the process of using crystal formation to roughen the surface of the plates, greatly increasing the surface area exposed to the electrolyte.

Thin plates very close together give the best maximum current, but are subject to distortion under heavy current, and corrode away more easily. Thick plates give a long life...

You might also look into buying a couple of these:

Quote

(http://store.renewableenergysys.com/prodimg/2-YS-31PS.jpg)

BATTERY SURRETTE 2V/3435 SOLAR BATTERY 2-YS-31PS
Renewable Batteries
Detailed Specifications for this Item

BATTERY SURRETTE 2V/3435 SOLAR BATTERY 2-YS-31PS

Item #: 2-YS-31PS
   
The Rolls Surrette 2-YS-31PS (2YS31PS) solar deep cycle battery is designed specifically for renewable energy applications and is backed by a 10 year warranty (3 year replacement, 7 years prorated) with an expected lifespan of 15-20 years.

The 2-YS-31PS (2YS31PS) is a modular construction 2-volt, dual container battery based on the high capacity YS plate. This unique battery design has each cell self-contained in a high temperature-retardant, durable polypropylene case. The outer container is made of high-density unbreakable polyethylene, providing double protection against breakage and leakage. Cell replacement is easy and quick using bolt-on connectors-allowing the battery to be assembled or repaired on location. These are the biggest and best batteries Rolls Surrette makes for the renewable market. The Rolls Surrette 2-YS-31PS (2YS31PS) battery is rated for 3300 cycles at a 50% depth of discharge.

Ideal for a larger battery bank of 2349AH at 48VDC utilizing 24 batteries. Recommended maximum battery bank size is 7047AH at 48VDC

Your Price:    $1,284.00

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on September 10, 2013, 06:00:31 PM
JD

Got an 11 hp Predator, on sale for $299, minus the 25% discount online coupon...it was less than $250 out the door. Gotta love those Chinese knock-offs. I'm told that the Harbor Freight engines are IDENTICAL to Honda...except that they are a MIRROR IMAGE, so no royalties paid. Parts interchange for the most part.

So now I need a big enough pulley to spin the Zena at 6500 rpm or higher, nearly double the 3600 max of the engine. The little frame from theepicenter.com looks like it will work perfectly, bolt holes line up, clearance looks good. I still have to check to make sure I can get the correct rotation on the Zena. I'll mount the engine on some 4X4's.

RE

Those Rolls Surette batteries are the shit. I already had my eye on them because of the double case and the 15-20 year expected life...far higher than just about any other lead acid battery. But I need 12 of the 2V ones minimum to build my 24V string. That's roughly 800 amp hours at the 5hr rate. Cost? About 15K. Almost 4 times the cost of equivalent golf cart batteries...but they sure are nice.

Title: Hydrogen Fuel Cell for the Toothstead
Post by: RE on September 10, 2013, 10:19:24 PM
Those Rolls Surette batteries are the shit. I already had my eye on them because of the double case and the 15-20 year expected life...far higher than just about any other lead acid battery. But I need 12 of the 2V ones minimum to build my 24V string. That's roughly 800 amp hours at the 5hr rate. Cost? About 15K. Almost 4 times the cost of equivalent golf cart batteries...but they sure are nice.

How about going with a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Generator and Electrolysis setup and store the Hydrogen in tanks?

Ballard 5KW Fuel Cell Generator (http://www.ballard.com/fuel-cell-products/ElectraGenH2.aspx)

(http://www.ballard.com/files/Images/Spec_Sheets/ElectraGen_H2.jpg)


Perkin Elmer H2 Generator (http://www.perkinelmer.com/Catalog/Family/ID/No%20Maintenace%20H2%20Generators)

(http://www.perkinelmer.com/CMSResources/Images/44-70013H2HydrogenGenerators.jpg)
No Maintenace H2 Generators
H2HydrogenGenerators.jpg

    Flow rate: > 99.9999% H2 / 0 - 10 bar
    Employ the latest electrolytic membrane technology (10 bar resistance)
    Include no maintenance auto-drying technology
    250 cc/min and 500 cc/min models are designed with cascading capability up to ten units
    Ideal as a feed gas for all GC detectors
    Provide auto shut-off for leak and water-off procedure feature for safety
    Offer audible alarms for variable operating conditions
    Fully supported by the PerkinElmer Service Organization
    Available in 5 models (see below)

This is the real CLASS for Electric Storage and Generation, quiet and clean too!

You can cut costs by building your own electrolysis setup, lots of YouTube instructionals for that.

If you call Ballard for Pricing, let us know how much the 5Kw unit costs.

RE

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on September 11, 2013, 05:36:23 AM
Promising, but crazy expensive and too new for me to know much about. I saw a 100W device for sale for over $1600. For the moment, batteries are still the (relatively) low cost  storage solution available for home-made electricity. Unless you're a multinational corporation, of course.
Title: Re: Making your own batteries
Post by: Eddie on September 11, 2013, 06:49:04 AM
A very interesting thought problem ( to someone like me, anyway) is "How would you, or could you, make your own batteries in a post-collapse, salvage economy world?"

A very short visit down history lane teaches us that both sulfuric acid and nitric acid are some of the most essential building blocks in the chemistry set that gave us the modern world. Not only is sulfuric acid the essential electrolyte for lead acid batteries, but it is used in the manufacture of both black powder and the more modern cordite powder we use in small arms ammunition.

Interesting to me how it can be used for powerful purposes, both peaceful and warlike.

I assume that the primary source of lead in a post-collapse world would be salvage. But H2SO4 would have to be produced in the medieval way, by burning sulfur with salt peter in the presence of steam. Salt peter can be produced from sources like guano, manure, or animal urine.

But sulfur is hard to come by. The most abundant source would be from calcium sulfate, which could be salvaged from...drywall. But it's complicated to make sulfur from calcium sulfate. You have to first turn it into sulfur dioxide and lime (also very useful)  by burning it in a reducing environment, usually done with (you guessed it) fossil fuels. You could probably do it with wood, though, in a retort.

The hard (maybe too hard) part comes at the end. To turn sulfur dioxide into elemental sulfur requires (damn) sulfuric acid...and a catalyst (double damn).

Work on that one, Godfather. It's a worthy pursuit. Meanwhile, maybe we can find some sulfur that fell off a rail car, beside the tracks.

I was once a freshman chemistry TA. Got a B.S. in chemistry too. Not that I learned much.



Title: Re:More on the Zena Welder
Post by: Eddie on September 11, 2013, 09:52:05 AM
Turns out that Zenas are built to rotate clockwise...most engines rotate counterclockwise...which creates a small problem with the way I wanted to mount the little welder/generator. Looks like the easiest fix is to ship the unit back to the manufacturer for a $100 mod, which mainly consists of installing a different fan, which also requires a longer shaft. Not a terrible issue, but I assume it will take a few weeks. I'll get it boxed and shipped before I leave town.

This is not a problem for those mounting a Zena on a truck or tractor...but if you want to run one off a small engine...get the CCW (actually bi-rotational) model in the first place.

One other issue, too. As I said before, it looked to me like the Zena requires a battery in its circuit..Called the manufacturer...turns out this is correct. So you need to charge said battery if you don't intend to keep it on a trickle charger all the time.

Too accomplish this, you need a voltage regulator (also supplied by Zena, for additional cost). I always intended to get a regulator anyway, since half of the purpose of the thing was to have a back-up generator. But the thing is that they have several different ones.

The best one they have ($275 worth) will charge either 12V or 24V, and it has a temp monitor that slows the unit down if it gets too hot...which won't happen unless you are attempting to charge a large battery bank (like my solar set-up, for instance). so I ordered one of those. The folks at Zena are good at figuring out exactly what you need, if you are smart enough to tell them what the unit will be used for.

So I can use the unit to charge the welder battery (12V) or, if needed, I can switch it to 24V and charge the off-grid bank, and it can run the 5-6 hrs it would take to recharge my (still hypothetical at the moment) 1000 AH bank of Rolls Surettes without danger of melting down from excess heat.

So...after the mod, I should be able to proceed as originally planned...and Zena is selling me the correct pulley to drive the welder, too, so I should only have to buy some bolts and washers and a drive belt.

The saga continues.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Snowleopard on September 11, 2013, 06:45:27 PM
Those Rolls Surette batteries are the shit. I already had my eye on them because of the double case and the 15-20 year expected life...far higher than just about any other lead acid battery. But I need 12 of the 2V ones minimum to build my 24V string. That's roughly 800 amp hours at the 5hr rate. Cost? About 15K. Almost 4 times the cost of equivalent golf cart batteries...but they sure are nice.

Been looking at this battery problem myself.  Just getting started on the system research, but will probably end up with the cheapies, presuming i get that far!

I wonder if, compared to $uper lead acid batteries, one might be better off with nickel iron. Slightly le$$ and likely more lifetime. 

One foreign product example that looks reasonable - (not a recommendation):

http://ironedison.com/nickel-iron-ni-fe-battery (http://ironedison.com/nickel-iron-ni-fe-battery)

Only "Made in USA" company i could find is much more expensive,  looks hard to deal with, and quotes capacities in kwhrs (to confuse folks?):

 http://zappworks.com/battery_prices.htm (http://zappworks.com/battery_prices.htm)

Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Making your own batteries
Post by: jdwheeler42 on September 11, 2013, 06:48:19 PM
A very interesting thought problem ( to someone like me, anyway) is "How would you, or could you, make your own batteries in a post-collapse, salvage economy world?"

A very short visit down history lane teaches us that both sulfuric acid and nitric acid are some of the most essential building blocks in the chemistry set that gave us the modern world. Not only is sulfuric acid the essential electrolyte for lead acid batteries, but it is used in the manufacture of both black powder and the more modern cordite powder we use in small arms ammunition.

Interesting to me how it can be used for powerful purposes, both peaceful and warlike.

I assume that the primary source of lead in a post-collapse world would be salvage. But H2SO4 would have to be produced in the medieval way, by burning sulfur with saltpeter in the presence of steam. Saltpeter can be produced from sources like guano, manure, or animal urine.
Whoa... slow down there, Eddie... I think you're way overcomplicating this... you're thinking like an industrialist... Nature make plenty of nitric and sulfuric acid on her own, those are the primary components of acid rain.  She can do the nitrogen oxides quite well with lightning flashes, she just needs a little help getting started with the sulfur oxides.  If you've got sulfur deposits to start with, great, but you don't need to make purified sulfur just to produce sulfuric acid.

My point is, you need to cut out as many steps as possible when you're going into a reduced-energy environment.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on September 11, 2013, 08:09:54 PM
Those Rolls Surette batteries are the shit. I already had my eye on them because of the double case and the 15-20 year expected life...far higher than just about any other lead acid battery. But I need 12 of the 2V ones minimum to build my 24V string. That's roughly 800 amp hours at the 5hr rate. Cost? About 15K. Almost 4 times the cost of equivalent golf cart batteries...but they sure are nice.

Been looking at this battery problem myself.  Just getting started on the system research, but will probably end up with the cheapies, presuming i get that far!

I wonder if, compared to $uper lead acid batteries, one might be better off with nickel iron. Slightly le$$ and likely more lifetime. 

One foreign product example that looks reasonable - (not a recommendation):

http://ironedison.com/nickel-iron-ni-fe-battery (http://ironedison.com/nickel-iron-ni-fe-battery)

Only "Made in USA" company i could find is much more expensive,  looks hard to deal with, and quotes capacities in kwhrs (to confuse folks?):

 http://zappworks.com/battery_prices.htm (http://zappworks.com/battery_prices.htm)

Any thoughts?

Nickel iron is the gold standard for off-grid batteries, but even more expensive than the Rolls Surettes. To compare apples to apples, look at the respective 5hr discharge rate. The Chinese batteries from beutilityfree.com are the least expensive...Zapps are substantially more as I recall.

Nickel iron batteries are hard to kill, from what I hear. They aren't the very best battery for any and all applications, but from my understanding, they probably are the best for off-grid systems if you can afford them. The plates in nickel iron batteries are not degraded by use...you supposedly only have to change electrolyte every 10-15 years, if they are properly maintained.

I was advised to start with golf cart batteries, because almost everyone ruins the first set of batteries they buy when they go off-grid. In the States, Sam's Club has the best price.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on September 11, 2013, 08:12:17 PM
you're thinking like an industrialist..

I can't help it. It's my toilet training.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on September 23, 2013, 05:38:44 AM
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/60/Picloram.png/160px-Picloram.png)

I learned a new word in my Permaculture Design Course....Picloram


Picloram is a systemic herbicide used for general woody plant control. It also controls a wide range of broad-leaved weeds, but most grasses are resistant. A chlorinated derivative of picolinic acid, picloram is in the pyridine family of herbicides.

Picloram can be sprayed on foliage, injected into plants, applied to cut surfaces, or placed at the base of the plant where it will leach to the roots. Once absorbed by the foliage, stem, or roots, picloram is transported throughout the plant.

Herbicides containing Picloram are sold under a variety of brand names. Dow Chemicals and now Dow AgroSciences sell herbicides containing it under the brand name Tordon.

During the Vietnam War, a mixture of picloram and other herbicides were combined to make Agent White (commercially available as Tordon 101) and Enhanced Agent Orange. Large quantities of these herbicides were sprayed by U. S. forces in areas where its long-term persistence was desirable, such as inland forests.

Picloram is the most persistent of its family of herbicides. It does not adhere to soil and so may leach to groundwater, and has in fact been detected there. It is degraded in soil and water mainly by microbes. Picloram has very little tendency to accumulate in aquatic life.

Gardeners who use dung as fertilizer should check to make certain that the animal source has not grazed on picloram treated hay, as the dung still has broadleaf killing potency.


Turns out that some unknown quantity of the Coastal Bermuda hay that folks buy to feed their horses is sprayed with this shit. It persists in soil for maybe 4-5 years. Certain garden veggies are particularly sensitive to it, including potatoes, tomatoes, and peas.

Obviously this is a potential problem with my Horseshit Project. And if I ever wanted to become a certified organic farm, the presence of this herbicide would disqualify my place, maybe permanently...I don't know.

The good news is that it doesn't affect corn, wheat, or grasses...so on areas that are designated for grass farming, the effects would be minimal. And it looks to me that by spreading the manure thinly and turning it with a disc, the sun would probably detoxify the manure in a few years.

You can test for  it by planting some pea plants in soil mixed with the suspect manure and comparing the seedlings with seedlings from a normal potting soil control. My first step is going to be that experiment. I hate to lose such a good source of carbon, especially after I've gone to such lengths to source the manure and get ready to haul it.
Title: Re: Battery Making
Post by: Petty Tyrant on October 03, 2013, 05:57:31 AM


You might also look into buying a couple of these:

Quote

(http://store.renewableenergysys.com/prodimg/2-YS-31PS.jpg)

BATTERY SURRETTE 2V/3435 SOLAR BATTERY 2-YS-31PS
Renewable Batteries
Detailed Specifications for this Item

BATTERY SURRETTE 2V/3435 SOLAR BATTERY 2-YS-31PS

Item #: 2-YS-31PS
   
The Rolls Surrette 2-YS-31PS (2YS31PS) solar deep cycle battery is designed specifically for renewable energy applications and is backed by a 10 year warranty (3 year replacement, 7 years prorated) with an expected lifespan of 15-20 years.

The 2-YS-31PS (2YS31PS) is a modular construction 2-volt, dual container battery based on the high capacity YS plate. This unique battery design has each cell self-contained in a high temperature-retardant, durable polypropylene case. The outer container is made of high-density unbreakable polyethylene, providing double protection against breakage and leakage. Cell replacement is easy and quick using bolt-on connectors-allowing the battery to be assembled or repaired on location. These are the biggest and best batteries Rolls Surrette makes for the renewable market. The Rolls Surrette 2-YS-31PS (2YS31PS) battery is rated for 3300 cycles at a 50% depth of discharge.

Ideal for a larger battery bank of 2349AH at 48VDC utilizing 24 batteries. Recommended maximum battery bank size is 7047AH at 48VDC

Your Price:    $1,284.00

RE

Whats up working stiff city slickers?  :icon_mrgreen: :icon_sunny:

I have 6 of those 300lb 2v's which are "solid lead" wtf? :icon_scratch: plate and can be recond any number of times so can last forever. I have them and all the electronics mounted inside a shipping container so can not be stolen. The 8 panels are on top of the container roof stand up on an angle but I can drop them down flat and unseen. Meant to be good for a week of wet and cloudy weather running all house appliances.Will post the pics of the setup (eddie will have to stay sitting down for a while when he sees it or scare everyone around with a hardon.) It looks like the trunk of an after car on 'pimp my ride'!!!

The crazy thing is the laptop power supply does not like the output from that 3kw inverter and I have to go through a 300w little one from 2 x 12v (24v) regular size deep cycle batteries to power the thing im typing on.
Title: Re: Battery Making
Post by: Eddie on October 03, 2013, 06:01:32 AM
Out-fuckin'-standing!!!!

I want pics and details.
Title: Re: Solar Setup
Post by: Petty Tyrant on October 10, 2013, 02:15:02 AM
ok, im not good enough to find how to type under the pics, but below you see:

Yellow boxes contain 2volt batteries x 6 small wires record the temp and signal back to controllers. big wires obviously go from inverter.

Container is 20ft with 8x250w panels and room for 4 more if needed for EV needs depending on how often its driven and how far. These can tilt angle up or down, even lie flat to transport. Obviously it can be moved if you bring a 5 ton truck.

Big Grey box is the "TomahawkUSA" made in china 3000w inverter.On the right it has 3 AC outlets on left side u see a black and a red connection, thats neg and pos. all the functions and lights I dont need to know, just on, power save and off.
just below u see two big fat fuses.

3 smaller silver boxes are the solar to battery chargers. these read 13.5V during the day whirring away then are silent reading nothing at night. below those is a panel of trip switches like you normally find in a house. Unlike the meter box in your house this stuff gives you a headache from electromagnetic field in no time if you stay near it. Car radio doesnt work when you park next to it as shown.

The other pic shows the copper earth rod connected to container.

I have it in full sunlight morning to evening and facing due north for max performance. I hardly use any electricity, but its going to be the garage and charging station for a small electric car. More to come on that soon.

The panels are good for 15-20 yrs, the batteries can be reconditioned after about the same. You could theoretically keep the acid and distilled water to do that in there, and more panels as they are thin and flat and dont take up much room. There are racks set above all this for that purpose, but Im not going to that extreme now. The electronics may have malfunctioned by then anyway. Its very hard to steal anything inside it with 4 big solid lock mechanisms on the doors.

Title: Re:Uncle Bob's Excellent Solar Set-up
Post by: Eddie on October 10, 2013, 05:52:19 AM
Thanks for the pics, Uncle Bob. Very nice set-up. I like the security offered by the metal container.

Was wondering about how the panels are wired. At 250W each, they must be 24V and not 12V panels...so the charge controllers are probably MPPT units to handle the higher voltage. Guessing it's 3 banks, with 3 panels in parallel on two of them and two in parallel on the third, unless the controllers allow higher than 24V input, which could be the case.

Would like to know the brand and specs on the three charge controllers. I can't immediately identify them.

Since the shipping container is effectively a Faraday Cage, it will protect much of your system if there ever was something like an EMP "event". Consider stockpiling a few extra panels inside the box as they would be what would get fried and need to be replaced after something like that. I'd want an extra charge controller or two as well.

Where is your generator? You have to feed those batteries if the sun doesn't shine.

Title: Re:Uncle Bob's Excellent Solar Set-up
Post by: Eddie on October 10, 2013, 06:06:41 AM
So weird to hear someone talking about turning their panels NORTH to get the sun. LOL.
Title: Re:Uncle Bob's Excellent Solar Set-up
Post by: Surly1 on October 10, 2013, 09:27:40 AM
So weird to hear someone talking about turning their panels NORTH to get the sun. LOL.

INdeed!!
Title: Re:Uncle Bob's Excellent Solar Set-up
Post by: Eddie on October 10, 2013, 10:07:55 AM
I think I found your charge controller on eBay. All questions have been answered. Nice 60 amp MPPT units from Taiwan. Good score.

(http://www.mppsolar.com/ebay/pcm40_6048-1.jpg)

(http://www.mppsolar.com/ebay/pcm40_6048-8.jpg)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 15, 2013, 07:38:53 AM
It's rained more than 10 inches in some nearby areas over the past four days. The second weekend of the much ballyhooed ACL Music Festival had to be cancelled due to near flood conditions in Zilker Park on Saturday night. Lake Travis is up a couple of feet already, and no doubt will be up more. More rain is possible today, but it looks like it's dying down. It was a beautiful weekend for sleeping in and eating comfort food.

I drove through light rain yesterday out to a rural feed store and picked up a couple of black, food-grade plastic barrels, with which I will be experimenting with building an outdoor solar shower at the 'stead. I drove out to the land afterward, mainly just to see if this round of rain showers had blessed my place. Unfortunately, although it was wet and some rain had definitely fallen overnight, the lion's share seems to have all come to the south and west. The creek is still far from full.

I did see my first Monarch butterfly of the season. They usually pass through this time of year, attracted to the gayfeathers  (Liatris mucronata) that grow in abundance in my bottom. Although I took the dogs on a quick reconnaissance of the pastures, no others were spotted. The bees were busy as hell flying out of their hive under the cabin roof. Someday I have to get around to relocating them back to a hive box...but for the moment they're fine where they are. I'm glad they're doing so well.

I spent some time making notes about repairs I need to do on the cabin and dreaming about where to put the new outdoor shower, trying to think about where it can go, somewhere close to the cabin but in fuller sun to heat the water. I'd like to put the future soaking tub up in the trees...but when the goal is to have everything heated by the sun, it helps to have some sun available.

In my even longer term dreams to build a climate appropriate house, the question of what's more important, shade or access to nearby solar and wind power is proving to be a key consideration. I have lots of sunny places to put PVs and flat plate collectors, but the best building sites are in the more shady areas.

Of course, it's possible to place the power generating equipment in a spot remote from the house, but it certainly adds cost and complexity, neither of which I want. Permies talk about planning in zones...zone zero being your abode...and how some things need to be close by, and for other things it's okay for them to be further out on the periphery.

We had two guys lecture to us on Saturday. One spoke on natural building...we made some cob. After fooling around with it and seeing some buildings he's built, I feel less likely to use it. The techniques involved look slow, labor intensive and easy to screw up.

The second guy talked about living off-grid. I didn't learn anything from him I didn't already know, but I did enjoy his story. He's a working farmer of the newer, organic kind, been living off-grid for thirty years, and walks the walk. But the rapid growth of his business has him living too much off the generator these days, something that seems to be a common thing with off-grid communities that start to have a lot of people on site.

I will probably build the shower next weekend. This project was inspired by the solar showers I saw at the Concordia eco-hotel at Ram's Head.  It's a relatively easy project, and the pay-off will be immediate. The shower in the trailer kinda sucks, although it's usable. I intend to remodel the bathrooms soon. One has been gutted already. I also plan to replace some windows, a job that the prior owner started but didn't finish. Likewise,  the deck awaits finishing. The list is endless.

As most self-employed people probably are aware, today is the last day to file a 2012 Federal income Tax return, without it being late...provided you filed an extension. As usual, it was down to the wire on getting the damn thing done. But it's done, and apparently I don't owe any more dollars for last year, which is a relief. Paying federal taxes and keeping up with them are the most difficult thing about running a small business, imho. That and insurance. I'm too small to be affected by Obamacare mandates  (I think), but we already pay for half our employees health insurance. For my family (four of us still covered) and the employees, we pay $4000/month. Other than payroll, it's the single biggest check I write every month.

This is the time of year that I have to decide about taking on any debt of any kind...not planning to, actually, but this is the only time of year I have a fresh tax return to show a lender, which they always want to see when you're self-employed. It's one reason why leasing equipment is so popular in my field. Leasing companies don't ask as many questions as regular banks...

Fall is my favorite time of year, and with the rain, it's an especially beautiful one here at the moment. Summer has hung on into October, with 90 degree temps last week until the rain cooled things off. I'd love to see a cold front, although the fall garden is just starting to look good. I have green tomatoes and eggplants on the way now, along with some beans that survived the summer. I'm planning to get some garden fabric to cover my raised beds if it frosts...which it didn't much last year.

Add "order fabric" to the to-do list.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on October 15, 2013, 10:25:34 AM
We had two guys lecture to us on Saturday. One spoke on natural building...we made some cob. After fooling around with it and seeing some buildings he's built, I feel less likely to use it. The techniques involved look slow, labor intensive and easy to screw up.
Nah, from what I've seen, it's fairly forgiving.... but slow and labor-intensive, definitely.  The biggest thing is that you don't want the previous layer to fully dry out and harden up before the next one goes on, so the building process should pretty much be every day once you start.

So, I think cob is a wonderful building technique... when appropriate.  Personally I would never use it for structural elements like walls or ceilings.  For the thermal mass part of a rocket mass heater, though, it is almost ideal.  And it is only cheap if you count the labor as free; someone calculated a cob house would cost several times as much as conventional home if you had to pay minimum wage.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 15, 2013, 10:55:15 AM
  Personally I would never use it for structural elements like walls or ceilings.  For the thermal mass part of a rocket mass heater, though, it is almost ideal.

Agree with you on the thermal mass rocket stove.  The expert guy was using it along with straw bales to build load bearing walls. I could build several houses in the time it took them to build one, using more conventional techniques. It does give a beautiful, functional building though, if done right.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on October 15, 2013, 08:11:03 PM
It does give a beautiful, functional building though, if done right.
In the hands of an artist, nothing else comes close:

(http://webecoist.momtastic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/all-about-cob-what-is-cob-1.jpg)

(http://seattleurbansparks.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/cob_school_building_2.jpg)

(http://webecoist.momtastic.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/cob-building-combo-oven-benches.jpg)

(http://static.environmentalgraffiti.com/sites/default/files/images/http-inlinethumb20.webshots.com-43795-2076490000104217012S600x600Q85.jpg)

(http://naturalhomes.org/img/cob.house.shingles.jpg)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 15, 2013, 08:29:23 PM
I like this one, built by SunRay Kelley, up at Harbin.

(http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSr6VZvvbDJK66n9julm7VwjFX51xgBwcrMSZ0rzRrKz1vg5xnZ)

(http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS1QWeQjPwdgNRaliBInelXkLcvUt-bgMlWxx87piUpjlXNxUyECw)

But I don't see myself going that route.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 18, 2013, 06:42:01 AM
I've had my wind turbine sitting in the garage since May or June. The problem is figuring out the best way to get it up in the air.

I've looked at a variety of decent options...tilt-up pipe poles...which looks pretty easy to get up to maybe 40 feet. But I need to get at least a little higher to be 30 feet above the canopy..which is pretty low, fortunately on my chosen site, but still maybe 20-30 feet.

I've considered a farm windmill tower. Slightly more expensive and hard to erect. Most people bring in a crane. They are fucking expensive.

I'm finally settling in on the option that Roamer suggested, which is a re-purposed radio mast like the HAM operators put up. Sold in ten foot sections, they can be embedded in concrete and built one stage at a time using a gin pole technique. They can also be tilted up, although I don't know exactly how high you can go that way.

These sections go by the name of Rohn towers, and they  come in different sizes, with the bigger ones being sturdier and requiring fewer guy wires. The littlest one that looks like it might work is a Rohn 25G, which looks pretty flimsy, but can be raised to stupid heights. In excess of 100 feet, if you know how. But I'm told that a Rohn 55G can be built to 60 ft with no guy wires...and it looks much stiffer and solid to climb on...at about 2X the cost of the smaller stuff.

I've found a guy who will sell me a sixty foot tower for $1300. That's compared  to about $1800 for a 33 ft windmill tower. Cheaper, and more than 20 more feet....and best of all, it can be built MUCH taller in the future if it turns out to be beneficial. You just add more sections. Obviously, it's REAL important to get the bottom section, the one that's embedded in concrete, to be as perfectly plumb as you can. Otherwise you just get  more "off" as you go up.

I miss Roamer. I wish he was around to give me the skinny on this stuff. I could use his advice. Roamer, you out there?

BC2K? Where are you guys?

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 18, 2013, 09:04:09 AM
I got the new solar shower plumbing stuff in the mail this morning. I decided to use an industrial safety shower contraption for the shower head, for a couple of reasons.

For one thing, the typical shower plumbing runs in  half-inch pipe, which is fine for pressure systems, but not so good for gravity feed. The other consideration is the valve, and I got one from Speakman that is one inch pipe and has this huge industrial pull-handle that works to turn it on, and there is a chain to turn it off. I just hate those spring loaded ones they have in National Parks and the like. People always jury rig strings to keep them on, and eventually they usually break from abuse.

A survey of gravity feed shower projects on the net revealed that many people end up getting booster pumps to get enough water. Apparently these gravity feed showers are used to some degree in houses in the UK, from what I gather. Maybe somebody can comment on whether that's correct.

I'm not sure the actual shower head, which is designed to wash off industrial chemicals (they are called a "drenching head") will work great, so I ordered a head designed for gardening that is made to fit a 1 inch garden hose. One of them should do the trick, and if not, there are 10 dozen different shower heads at Home Depot. (Thing is, they are all half-inch, and all of them are choked down deliberately for low flow nowadays.)

Of course, since I want to get this up right away and enjoy the feeling of naturally heated water soothing my skin as I stand outside in my birthday suit, the weather has continued to be cool and cloudy, and we may get more rain tomorrow. Well, I'm in class tomorrow anyway, and if there is one thing I'm sure of, it's that we will continue to get plenty of sunshine here most of the time, and I expect to be able to use this shower at least 8 months of the year.

I have all the goodies sourced now except for lumber and some PVC or Pex to run the water from an outdoor tap to the shower.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 18, 2013, 09:45:35 AM
I also got the Zena welder back from the factory yesterday.  They have the world's best customer service. The welder is made from a Delco 10si donor and it's made to turn one direction because of the fan. I found that it needed to be reversed to run off my gas Harbor Freight engine, so I sent it back to Tennessee, for a refit, expecting it to be a month or so. It was back in a few days. Wow!

The designer of this cool tech has spent a good bit of time explaining to me what kind of voltage regulator I'll need to use the welder as a back-up generator (it will give 12 or 24 volts for battery charging) and how to wire that to the welder control. A very nice guy, and an expert.

So I ended up down in the driveway after work, doing a mock-up build. I put the frame, which looks kinda like this

(http://mikeswindmillshop.com/images/PMAdetailspage1part1A.jpg)

on the engine, and tried to line up the pulleys. I still need to work on maybe putting in some spacers, and the frame, which is cut out of quarter inch steel is too flexible and will need to be braced with a piece of angle iron.

I think it's gonna work though. Damn, I wanna weld somethin'!

Note: These pics are actually of one of Mike's (of Mike's Windmill Shop) quick charge PMA alternators..gratefully borrowed because theepicenter.com, where I got the frame, won't let people copy their images. The welder does look very similar, the way I've got it rigged.)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on October 18, 2013, 03:52:00 PM
Nice progress, Ill just say re the shower, DONT bother buying a little 12v pump with little high pressure gas bottle hot water/shower. I got the "aqua cube" and the flow is too slow, just as good to heat up a bucket of water on the stove or fire and pour it over yourself with a pannikin waste of 350$ plus bottles. My pigwoman banker cousin lives in austin, I believe texas is a warm enough climate similar to where I last lived and black plastic pipes on ythe roof will warm up plenty hot most days. At my old house I made that just in case the gas was ever not available or couldnt pay the bill or something. It was HOT, but dangerous geting up there on roof to fill it up all the time. You do it everyday so you get careless and then slip. Of course the trick is to time your shower  so you have it in the afternoon. I had insulation from aircon duct to slip on and keep it warm for a later shower. can take pics of the things Im talking about if you like.

I brought the things with me here where its much colder, but so far its just too cold for the water to heat up anywhere near enough, maybe a few months in summer it can.

I have more wood than I could ever use, so best way when its cold is to just put a pot on top of wood heater until its warm and take it into the shower and pour it over yourself.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 18, 2013, 04:29:43 PM
I'm modeling this thing off my recollection of the ones I saw in St. John. Just a simple black water drum with water tapped to it, up under a clear roof panel. It has an overflow pipe, so you fill from a hose or feed-in pipe until you see overflow.

Turn off water. Wait for sun to heat. Stand under shower and hope it isn't too hot (no mixer). With one inch pipe I don't think I'll need a pump. That kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it? You got to design better so you don't need auxiliary power.

 I guess that sounds funny coming from me, the guy with a dozen or more internal combustion engines in his possession. They are my minions, those little fossil fuel orcs. Anyway, the one inch shower pipe should help with the flow, and the drum I got is a big one.

To me, being able to take a real shower in the event of a collapse has high morale value, and I'm hoping to lure a certain woman out to the farm more often if It's all civilized.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on October 19, 2013, 04:36:54 AM
Eddie,
Since you are the 12V gun or have contacts who know the all  the ins and outs, maybe you can help me select a low draw fridge freezer of around 90L (30 gallon).

Engel is a  very reputable brand but theres only one local dealer and price is very high compared to Mainland suppliers also only carry 50L. National Luna is meant to be the best, but about 1K more than others.

The Primus has a 90L dual zone fridge freezer thats 2 seperate lids with roughly same size compartment. Im thinking I need a fair size for freezing kangaroo, sheep, goat meat. That one is aluminium inside and outside and strong handles. Downside is meant to be weight, but that doesnt bother me bec it will stay put.

When I say I want to buy the right thing once for reliability Im advised to go german compressor not chinese, and thick insulation. Its just not easy to find what I want all in one package.

My worry with the Primus 90L is the compressor made in china, Secop. Im trying to get Danfoss but the info seems to date back to 2011 re Danfoss. Theres info re Tianjin co. changing name of Danfoss to Secop.

I have really sore eyes from trying to look into all this now for past 3 hrs. I dont mind spending a bit extra to get something reliable as I live remote and taking something back or sending something back for repair etc is big hassle. But Im not spending 1K extra for the danfoss in the National Luna.

I bought a fridge once that lasted about 3 yrs. So a 3 yr warranty doesnt really reassure. Basically do you know if the Primus with Secop is the same german Danfoss quality made under licence in china or is just chinese crap and stay away from it. If not WHAT IS recommended? It needs to LAST.

Been using ice in a cooler so far so good, but  moving into spring now and after all this isnt a fucking fishing trip.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 19, 2013, 05:00:20 PM
Uncle Bob

My friends in AZ who live off-grid suggested just getting a regular AC fridge that has an energy star rating, and running it off  a small dedicated inverter, one just for that one appliance (A 1000W pure sine wave inverter would be more than enough, probably). Their point was that the newer conventional refrigerators are quite efficient compared to the old days...and that spending the extra money for something like a SunFrost  (used to be considered the best 12V a few years back)  wasn't justified.

However, I was looking around myself and ran across these EcoSolar units, which get good reviews. I might consider one of these for myself. They aren't that much more than what the local big box stores charge for a regular fridge, and they will run on 12V or can run off an AC adapter. On their site they have a good video sent in by a guy who has one set up off-grid...shows the whole set-up he's got.

http://www.youtube.com/v/kHCfSH5mFio&fs=1

http://www.ecosolarcool.com/ (http://www.ecosolarcool.com/)



Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on October 19, 2013, 06:02:54 PM
Good prices and very efficient, but unfortunately no local supplier.  :( The guy in the vid obviously wasnt expecting it to rain on his electrics anytime soon lol.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on October 20, 2013, 06:09:47 AM
My favorite off-the-grid device for keeping food from getting too hot are thermoelectric coolers (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000Q754E4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000Q754E4&linkCode=as2&tag=doomstead-20).  They are automatically 12VDC, the only moving part is a simple fan, and they are ridiculously cheap, so if you need more capacity, you just buy several.  Granted, I only ever use them for camping types of situations, so I'm not sure how well you will like them for everyday use.  The major caveat is that they are pretty strictly limited in their cooling capacity to about 40 degrees below ambient, so you really need to keep them in a room that doesn't get much above 80 degrees.  If you don't have that, they really aren't appropriate.

There is another option I have heard small produce farmers using, and that is taking a chest freezer and modifying the thermostat so that it maintains the temperature above freezing.  The chest freezers are generally much better insulated than refrigerators, and you don't lose all the cold air when you open them.  I would only recommend it for someone who is comfortable mucking about with electrical circuits.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on October 20, 2013, 06:01:14 PM
thats more or less the way I went JD, a 12v DC or 240vAC 80L unit with only one section, not 2 or 3 seperate sections, the lid at the top to not lose the cold air every time you open it, and it can be either a fridge or freezer depending how you set it.

Basically because I got sick of opening and shutting gates I let the tame sheep I was kindly given to try make fetta cheese as per my permaculture book, and milk (which I never did) out of their open enclosure and are roaming the forested hillsides here. Ive learned its easy to herd up and direct sheep in  open fenced space, as the enclosure was designed for, but once you leave them alone too long in too much space they turn wild and no hope catching again.

From 2 sheep and 2  cute little lambs, The lambs are now bigger and the sheep are really wooly and they say in summer will be cruel to leave getting too hot. So Im going to have to hunt and eat them, freezing most of the meat. Im not at the stage of being ready to butcher an animal myself, maybe never will if I can avoid it, or until Im hungry enough. Just taking it to the nearby butcher to do is a dreaded job, btw he said it takes 10 minutes to fill in the paperwork for every animal.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: WHD on October 20, 2013, 08:13:37 PM
Quote
btw he said it takes 10 minutes to fill in the paperwork for every animal.

I waited twenty minutes for my shit Internet to load this thread. To read this???

WTF, YHGTBKM!  :icon_scratch: Gov @ it's best?

WHD
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 21, 2013, 06:38:17 AM
I visited the Big Box building materials store to lay on the lumber and hardware to complete the solar shower yesterday. It was Sunday late afternoon by the time I got there, and the place was eerily quiet, with no contractors there and the cooler weather keeping the DIYer's inside in front of the TV set.

I wandered the aisles, mostly left to my own company. The skeleton crew manning the store seemed to have poor morale, like they wished they could be propped up on the couch watching football too, and I didn't disturb them, preferring to pull my own lumber so I could sort the culls.

I'm at that point on the project where I'm leaving the drawing board and starting to cut and drill now, and it's always a shock, remembering that those 12 foot 4X4's have substantial mass...and that I'm a fifty something guy with a few bad discs in my back. I'm going to build the frame for the whole structure in my driveway, put it together with carriage bolts like a kid's playscape, which the completed frame will resemble...or maybe it will look more like a mini-gallows, at least until the water tank is installed.

I decided to orient the 55 gallon black plastic drum vertically, because the lid is a screw on, and although it has a decent looking gasket, I'm afraid that eventually it might leak if left on its side....and the drum is designed to hold its shape when oriented upright. It looks like it will sag if laid on its side.

It remains to be seen if an upright black barrel will catch as much solar heat as one oriented with more of its surface exposed to overhead sun. Since we get lots of sun, and  it's hot as hell much of the year, I'm betting it won't be an issue. In fact, my greatest fear is that the shower might be too hot. But that's why I'm doing this experiment. I'll find that out by and by. I might have to engineer some kind of mixing valve to add some cold water, but I'll cross that design bridge if and when I come to it.

As usual I was mildly shocked at how much everything costs these days. An 18 inch piece of threaded one inch pipe for $10. Thirty something bucks for a box of 25 galvanized carriage bolts...and that's without the nuts and washers.

In contrast, I bought a new rechargeable drill motor, a nice high torque, lightweight 18V Makita with two lithium ion batteries...for $169. it was marked with a sticker that said New Lower Price...an admission that the $199 price point wasn't selling enough merchandise in this economy. I thought it was a great deal.

So, the price of high tech gadgets continues to fall, while the cost of simple building materials continues to inflate towards infinity. This is the world we live in.



Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on October 21, 2013, 03:09:37 PM
What are you doing at the ground level that you stand on, a fibreglass shower base or make from cement? either way, I suggest piping or channeling the water to a buried trough that you can then dunk a bucket into to use to flush toilet or water plants.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 21, 2013, 03:16:54 PM
The plan is to have a wooden grating above ground level, and to just channel the water to a "rain garden" type plant installation. I did think about saving the grey water, but where I want to put the shower is in a low spot, with no useable downhill fall to get the water to flow further into a tank to store it.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on October 21, 2013, 04:26:50 PM
[quote author=Eddie link=topic=1702.msg34207#msg34207  :emthdown:e water to a "rain garden" type plant installation. I did think about saving the grey water, but where I want to put the shower is in a low spot, with no useable downhill fall to get the water to flow further into a tank to store it.
[/quote]

For: No scrubbing :emthup:
Against: Splinters  :emthdown:
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- The Bug-Out PV Kit
Post by: Eddie on October 24, 2013, 07:26:23 AM
I was finally able to order some of the components for the small scale solar PV set-up I was talking about a few days back. I'm going to call it the Bug-Out PV Kit. As I said before, I felt that it might be several months to a year or more before I have the big system out at the 'stead online, and in the meantime, it might be nice to have a smaller system to get my feet wet. I also like the idea of having a portable rig that I could potentially take with me if I needed to do that.

The panels I selected are 120W 12V units I got from Solar Blvd. I'm getting two of them, which will give me a 240W system, which is a fair compromise between decent power and portability. They fold up, and have a folding rack that lets you orient them to catch the sun. They look like this.

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQf7hszqwr0HB-eSRQWV70lEUQok-P6p3qg4S4aJXA2BBWODR37)

They are monocrystalline units, which are probably the best choice for a tiny system. For their size, they eke out a bit more power than polycrystalline or thin film panels, especially in a hot climate like mine. Monocrystalline panels are made by an older, more expensive process than the other types, and more waste is produced in making them, and as a result they are becoming less common.

They come with integral charge controllers, but I am extremely skeptical about their quality. There are three kinds of charge controllers, and price goes from $10 to several hundred dollars depending on capacity and the tech involved. I'm pretty sure the ones included are of the cheapest type, which means they merely act as a switch, and the batteries are either charging or not, with no "fast charge" or "float" algorithms.

So I'm still kicking around the possibilities on a replacement charge controller. MPPT is the best, most sophisticated, but pricey. PWM controllers are a step down, but still okay, and way cheaper right now.

I did some reading about the so-called advantages of MPPT, and this is what I gathered. All the makers claim a 15 to 30% power gain over PWM when used in a PV set-up,..but as is always the case with manufacturer's claims, you have to read the fine print.

The real story is that the 30% gain would be only on a very cold and clear winter sunny day here. In cool weather, like we're having now, with highs in the 80's, it would be more like 15%. In the hot summer the gain would be....ZILCH.

So we're really talking about a modest gain overall for my application and local climate. At roughly twice the price of PWM.  So I'm leaning toward PWM.

So, what about capacity? How do I calculate how "big" a charge controller I need?  The rule of thumb is to take the individual units' short circuit current rating in amps (in this case 7.76 amps). Multiply that by the number of units in parallel (In this case two. With two 12V panels they need to be paralleled to keep the voltage at 12. If this doesn't make sense ask me after class). Then you multiply that by 1.25 to give a little margin of safety.

So....7.76 amps X 2 X 1.25 = 19.4 amps. so I need a charge controller of at least 20 amp capacity. More is okay, but cost goes up with capacity.

Of the available choices, I like these units made by Blue Sky Solar. They make a 25 amp MPPT unit ( about $250) and a 30 amp PWM unit ($150). They look the same externally. I like them because they have a 5 yr warranty, the case looks robust, and they have integral read-outs to tell you what's going on with the charger and the batteries. I'll probably go with the PWM and save the hundred bucks.

(http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/wind-sun_2269_9644522)

One consideration that I haven't talked about is that an MPPT unit can accept power from a higher voltage source (like 24 volt panels, which are fast becoming the most common). Since I decided to go with 12V for other reasons, this doesn't concern me too much. The rationale for staying with 12 volts has to do with there being so many RV type 12V appliances and gizmos available. Likewise, many laptops, and cell phone chargers and other devices with those "wall wart" transformer plugs actually run on 12volt DC current. In a pinch, even with no batteries, you could still use power for those while the sun was shining. Even with no working charge controller too. It gives some added resilience to the kit.

I gave quite a bit of thought to an inverter for my set-up. Lots of choices, and as usual, the fancier the tech, the higher the price. And US made units command a price premium. Taiwanese units are cheaper, and units from the People's Republic are cheaper still. A modified sine wave unit is cheapest, but a pure sine wave unit is less likely to run into problems kick-starting something like a refrigerator.

Since my two panels will produce a max of roughly 240 Watts, a 300w inverter will be more than adequate. I ordered one of these:

(http://www.wholesalesolar.com/images/inverter_folder/Sure-Sine-300.jpg)

It's a 300W pure sine wave unit from Morningstar, one of the best of the best in terms of reliability. I like it because it does not require a cooling fan, which means it will likely live longer, and it is encased in a heavy epoxy box. The term is "tropicalized" I like tropicalized. Shopping around, I found one for a little over 200 bucks.

And oh, I almost forgot. One trade-off I did make on this inverter....It does not have a 120V AC receptacle, so I have to wire one. Many inverters come with built-in plugs, which I'd prefer. Unfortunately I could not find one I liked that didn't have a cooling fan. And as everyone with a desktop computer knows, cooling fans are notorious for crapping out.

For batteries....I will most likely use two 6V golf cart batteries from Sam's Club, wired in series to give the 12 volts . I'm still figuring out that part though. I will write more about battery options. For portability, sealed AGM gel batteries might be nice. I haven't yet made the calculations to match the 240W of power to the equivalent amp hrs of battery.

Most authorities have you start with figuring out how big a battery bank you need to provide the power you need (like how many kWhrs do you use daily, and how  many days you expect to go without sun.) Once you figure that out, you pick the number of panels you need to charge that bank of batteries. Since I already decided on panels, I have to work backwards to figure out how "big" a bank I can charge.

So I ordered the panels and the inverter. If I do get a an upgraded charge controller, I still need to get some longish (maybe 20-30 ft) of cable with MC4 plugs to hook the panels to the controller. I also need some battery cable wire with clamps and lugs. However, I should have a system that will work without that stuff. I will also wire a 12V DC receptacle to the battery bank, of the "cigarette lighter" variety.

Also, any installation that might become permanent enough to remain outside overnight or ride out a rainstorm should be grounded and have a lightning arrestor installed. These are small details, but might well save the panels and electronics in the event of a lightning strike. Worth it, in other words. I will write more on how this whole system hooks together, and take some pics to show how to do it once I get all the various bits delivered.

More on this when the goodies arrive.





Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Permaculture Design...and a Welder Update.
Post by: Eddie on October 28, 2013, 06:17:16 AM
We finally (6th day of my 10 day class) got down to design basics on Saturday, with a long day of lecture about scale drawing, and the proper format for drawing out a design on paper.

You have to start with a  dimensionally correct map of whatever property you intend to work on. In order to be able to actually clearly delineate the elements of your design, it's better if the scale is larger. My teacher says 10 ft to the inch is the best, but you have to go smaller if your property is bigger, because a major objective of the formatting process is to get your entire design on an 11 by 17 piece of paper, which is, of course, the biggest size you can get off a standard copy machine.

An inch=10' scale gets you a quarter acre on an 11X17 page. To draw out a design for a whole acre probably means you 'd have to go to the scale of an inch=20' which is still okay, but the features, like trees and buildings start to get pretty small compared with 1:10.

I started with this course naively thinking that my design could end up being like a permaculture blueprint for my whole 'stead, but that's way too much designing for a class project. My teacher is insisting that I pick a part of my place to work on, no more than a couple of acres.

After kicking it around, I decided to go even smaller than that. I've picked out a somewhat eroded area of about a half acre near the top of my ridge to zero in on. My design is going to be pretty simple, just some swales on contour to slow down the water, with some plants put in that hopefully can make it in the drought. I'll have to give the plants some serious thought. I'm not there yet, though.

Right now I'm just trying to learn to go to the county GIS online database and print a map of my selected piece of ground. This is easy if you're dealing with a city lot, but harder if you're trying to piece off a segment of of a rural place and blow it up to just the right size to fit on the chosen 11X17 format.

Fortunately there are online tools that can accomplish this on the county's CAD website. You can even do overlays that show the flood plain, the topographic contour lines, and the aquifer. The site does not work seamlessly, however, and I have yet to get a good print of what I want. Hopefully I can get the basic map, the tabla rasa version, done in the next couple of days.

I finally got the Zena welder fired up yesterday for the first time. I didn't actually weld anything yet. I still need to build a frame to mount it on and do a little bracing to keep down vibration. But the pulleys line up and the PMA turns and I have the right belt. It's good to see a project getting towards completion. I have so many irons in the fire right now it seems like all my projects are moving at a snails pace. I should be at a point where I can start burning some of the new welding rods I bought by the end of the week.

I picked up some small pieces of steel to practice on from Tractor Supply, because it was convenient, and once again I was blown away by what they charge for that kind of stuff. Like 20 bucks for a 6 ft length of inch-an-a-half angle iron. Absolutely ridiculous. I paid about a quarter apiece the other day for some stainless steel washers I needed for spacers, and it occurred to me that I would have come out ahead just drilling holes in some quarters, since they're thicker. Is that kind of thinking a prelude to hyperinflation? I wonder.
.


Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: funkyspec on October 29, 2013, 05:43:16 AM
Eddy -

The USDA's NRCS has a web app for their soil survey(s). I was able to zoom in on the property where I farm (which was the property I used for my PDC project site). The app will generate pdf maps showing soil types, water table, and lots of other data for the area you've zoomed in on.

The app is not completely intuitive to use, but if you spend a little time with it, you should be able to figure it out. I don't know how useful this will be for your basemap, but it is a great tool for getting some free data for your site.

http://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/HomePage.htm (http://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/HomePage.htm)

You can also use google maps to help with your basemap, if you haven't already thought of that.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 29, 2013, 05:47:08 AM
Thank you. I will check it out.

My son made me a nice high resolution montage from google maps that shows the whole place, but there's no way to get contours on it, nor is it to scale. I guess if nothing else works out I can make a drawing from what I got on the GIS site. I can get what I want on screen, but was having trouble getting it to print.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Permaculture Design...and a Welder Update.
Post by: jdwheeler42 on October 29, 2013, 06:29:25 AM
I started with this course naively thinking that my design could end up being like a permaculture blueprint for my whole 'stead, but that's way too much designing for a class project. My teacher is insisting that I pick a part of my place to work on, no more than a couple of acres.

After kicking it around, I decided to go even smaller than that. I've picked out a somewhat eroded area of about a half acre near the top of my ridge to zero in on. My design is going to be pretty simple, just some swales on contour to slow down the water, with some plants put in that hopefully can make it in the drought. I'll have to give the plants some serious thought. I'm not there yet, though.
If you're not already too far into it, personally I would strongly recommend to my students that the site they design at least be adjacent to "Zone 0", i.e., the house for a homestead.  The areas that get the most use are the areas that should be the most intensively designed.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 29, 2013, 07:49:26 AM
Sounds like good advice. Problem is that the existing Zone 0 probably won't be Zone 0 for the long haul....

I kind of see three zone 0's in my long term plan. The area I picked would probably be in Zone 1 for one potential building site.

 My rationale had to do with the water flow off the ridge, which is a major challenge and opportunity. Between the top of the ridge, which is a flattish 15 acre plateau with some dry washes, and the creek bottom, is 80 ft of slope. I want to turn those dry washes into cascading water features. I thought it made sense to start at the top with swales, and then put higher rock terraces (like little dams basically) on contour in the steeper areas.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- The PV Bugout Kit
Post by: Eddie on October 29, 2013, 05:03:48 PM
I got the two 120W folding panels today. I think they must be from a source in Oz because the instructions say to turn them north.  ;D

They are very nice units that fold up like a card table, and they came with their own padded bags which was nice. Downside is that the little fuckers are heavy. 29 pounds each.

As I suspected the charge controllers are $10 buck specials. I'm going to order a bigger charge controller that has the capacity to use both panels as an array. I will however leave the existing controllers in place, and just disconnect them. They would be fine for charging a single 12V 90 Ah battery, using one panel. Not enough juice though, to power a refrigeration unit, which I hope to do at some point.

They are a good size to put in the car. Only 2'X3' roughly, when folded.I'd hate to think about carrying one on my back very far though. Not gonna happen. Not only heavy, but unwieldy.

I have to get out to the lake house. i have a spare 12V deep cycle battery out there I can re-purpose to this kit.


Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 29, 2013, 05:34:22 PM
I ran across this very affordable yet quite decent water filter today. The Monolithic Dome people make them. They're now making some other prep-worthy stuff too, like water bladders. The entire water filter set-up with buckets goes for $51.45 on the Monolithic website.

http://shop.monolithic.com/collections/water-filters-collection/products/just-water-complete-bucket-system (http://shop.monolithic.com/collections/water-filters-collection/products/just-water-complete-bucket-system)

(http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0000/3539/products/img_5480_grande.jpg?563)

(http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0000/3539/products/BucketWaterFilterDiagram4_grande.jpg?563)

It's a ceramic filter that is supposed to not be used up Oops, I misread that. You replace them twice a year. Still much, much cheaper than a Berkey replacement. I have a Berkey filter, which my whole family loves, but it doesn't score high on the sustain-o-meter. Expensive expendable filter elements.

It's also nice that the Monolithic people will sell the components without the buckets if you want to fabricate some custom set-up. You can use a trash can to make a big reservoir. They actually even sell one of these filters that will fit the Berkey.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on October 29, 2013, 09:44:46 PM
Sounds like good advice. Problem is that the existing Zone 0 probably won't be Zone 0 for the long haul....

I kind of see three zone 0's in my long term plan. The area I picked would probably be in Zone 1 for one potential building site.
Ah yes I should have specified, by all means, I meant the (or in your case, a) planned Zone 0, not necessary what is there now, so that probably is a good choice.

And thinking about it further, that does go a tiny bit against my design training.  I would have at least 1 plan drawing which does include the entire site, to at least show the relationships of all the zones -- even if you had 10000 acres you were dealing with.  Except for that contextual site plan, however, I do agree that you need to break it into manageable chunks, and of course, it's his course, so I would do what he says to complete it.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- An Aha! Moment
Post by: Eddie on October 30, 2013, 05:55:26 AM
I do all my gardening in my backyard. I don't have the time or energy to garden out at the 'stead, because, for most of the year, daily watering is required here for conventional raised beds.

In my efforts to build more beds over the last year or so I have been slowly eliminating a small stand of tall weeds that took over the wildest part of my yard out back. Some days ago now I happened on an article talking about eating Sunchoke, aka Jerusalem Artichoke.

I looked at the pics in the article, then I looked out from the upstairs porch down at the garden. I looked at the weed patch, which I had largely left, except in the areas where I'd cleared it back to build the beds. I had thought my tomatoes might need a little shade....

Yep, you guessed it. That burgeoning healthy weed patch was all Sunchoke, which grows like crazy here with no water, except for the runoff from my sloppy watering.

Since then, everywhere I seem to turn, I'm running across some mention of this plant. I was watching YouTube videos of a guy from Ft. Worth who builds PV set-ups built from salvage parts...and the guy had another video about gardening. He was trying to build a bed of hardy perennials. Guess what the mainstay was? Yep. Sunchoke.

Anybody here eat Sunchoke? I guess somebody up there wants me to try to learn about it.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: nobody on October 30, 2013, 06:01:31 AM
Eddie  "Anybody here eat Sunchoke? I guess somebody up there wants me to try to learn about it."

It's the way Perma talks back to you.  and gives back.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 30, 2013, 08:46:33 AM
  I would have at least 1 plan drawing which does include the entire site, to at least show the relationships of all the zones -- even if you had 10000 acres you were dealing with.

Yeah, my original purpose in taking the PDC was to get that kind of picture, at least in my own mind. I think I will just draw the zones on my big google map montage. I really think that there are three excellent building sites, each with some kind of advantage.

One with shade and exposure to the prevailing southerly breeze, one with open ground to put PV and collect rainwater, and then there is the existing cabin, which is nestled in a spot within the climax pecan grove against the bluff. And even though the existing cabin is an old doublewide, the things the previous owner did to it were very much in keeping with green building principles, and the structure deserves saving and upgrading.

So I'm going to see how the outer zones would intersect and overlap. Thank you for your thoughtful input. My teacher, who is a good guy, just wants us to get the how-to of design, and he's a huge believer in starting small. But an overview is essential for me, to my way of thinking.

I'm also thinking about having one of our guest lecturers, the water and cob guy, do a paid consultation for me.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- An Aha! Moment
Post by: jdwheeler42 on October 30, 2013, 09:13:04 AM
Anybody here eat Sunchoke? I guess somebody up there wants me to try to learn about it.
Guess it's time to harvest and try out what I grew this year and plant out next year's....
(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_ylxAkLV7N0/UnEuLHgc0TI/AAAAAAAAAFw/wkhVYRy4D78/s320/Sunchoke.jpg)
I'll let you know what I think of the taste....
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 30, 2013, 09:17:19 AM
They are said to give you bad gas if you don't prepare them correctly. I'm going to dig up some of mine and examine the roots. I may give them a try myself. Are yours wild ones or the domesticated kind? I understand that there is an "improved" variety.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Snowleopard on October 30, 2013, 09:24:07 AM
Quote
Anybody here eat Sunchoke? I guess somebody up there wants me to try to learn about it.

Nope.  They bother me somewhat like milk does the lactose intolerant.  I've not met anyone else with this problem.

Before i found that out though, we planted them in various (mostly out of the way) spots around the 'stead.  With no care, all but one location is still growing them, and where they have good sun they spread rapidly.  A bit like having a perrennial pest resistant potatoe with a top like a sunflower.  Goats and geese love the tops, and i suspect cattle would as well.  One can dig them up late fall to early spring to harvest like potatoes if the ground is not too frozen.    They are frost hardy so they can be divided and replanted in fall as well as spring.  They are mostly dying back here now, though some are still green despite several frosts here already.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on October 30, 2013, 12:46:27 PM
They are said to give you bad gas if you don't prepare them correctly. I'm going to dig up some of mine and examine the roots. I may give them a try myself. Are yours wild ones or the domesticated kind? I understand that there is an "improved" variety.
Well, I'm pretty sure mine aren't a named cultivar, but I do think they are from a "domesticated" line; I did purchase them from a local farmer.  I actually do have wild ones growing on the border with my neighbor's property, but I don't want to dig those up, because they are growing among some roses that I do not want to disturb.

After TSHTF however.... I consider them part of my hidden reserves....

Regarding digestion, they are high in inulin, a sugar alcohol which is supposed to be good for diabetic metabolism, but requires some getting used to.  I happen to use stevia powder with inulin, so I'm hoping not to have any issues.

I'm waiting until after the sun goes down to try them because it is such a gorgeous day here I want to get as much done as I can outside (right now my muscles need a little break).  I've gotten two elderberries, one purple raspberry, and eight sunchokes planted in a new 2x4 bed so far, and another bed started.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 30, 2013, 03:11:41 PM
I dug a few. I think my weeds aren't really Sunchoke, although they closely resemble them. Mine have more of a woody taproot rather than a tubercle. They do not appear to me to be edible. Maybe I have wild annual sunflowers instead.The flowers aren't very big though.

Guess I'll have to plant some real Sunchokes and see if they do as well as the weeds.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on October 30, 2013, 03:36:20 PM
I dug a few. I think my weeds aren't really Sunchoke, although they closely resemble them. Mine have more of a woody taproot rather than a tubercle. They do not appear to me to be edible. Maybe I have wild annual sunflowers instead.The flowers aren't very big though.
With a woody taproot, I seriously doubt they are annual sunflowers, much more likely to be perennial sunflowers.  Since you mistook it for a sunchoke, my first guess would be Maximillian's sunflower:
(http://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/udata/r9ndp23q/yellow/maximilians-sunflower_0919_160442.jpg)
I've never dug one up so I don't know what kind of taproot it has.

If that's not it, perhaps you could provide a picture?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 30, 2013, 03:54:26 PM
That looks just like it. The Maximilian Sunflower, I mean.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on October 30, 2013, 04:04:26 PM
That looks just like it. The Maximilian Sunflower, I mean.
Excellent!  Because according to the Plants for a Future (http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Helianthus+maximilianii) database, it does produce edible tubers very similar to sunchokes.  The main difference is that the sunchokes are much more prolific.  You probably just didn't come across any in the few you dug up.  According to the Natural Capital (http://permacultureplantdata.com/index.php?option=com_plants&vw=detail&id=1787&return=1) Plant database, the seeds are edible like sunflowers and similarly produce an edible oil, and the flower buds can be eaten like artichokes.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on October 30, 2013, 04:16:45 PM
 I like this kind of thread.  Some of us are pretty hopeless at gardening and info on idiotproof edible plants is useful.

Im working at it today thinking about whether to try and hugelbed the vegetbale patches. Have plenty of wood around. Supposed to use less water, which is good since summer has started and I am getting a dam dug but dont have it yet, also a big shed/barn with more water tanks to take the runoff from, but dont have those yet either. So if hugelpiling is water efficient why not. Any veg area has to be made bird, rabbit, possum and roo proof too. Which of course is a 75mile trip to the nearest hardware store for materials.

I have bracken fern everywhere. Ive heard the leaves are poisonous but pigs eat the root. Is it edible for people?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Surly1 on October 30, 2013, 04:28:26 PM
I like this kind of thread.  Some of us are pretty hopeless at gardening and info on idiotproof edible plants is useful.


UB, thanks for saying this. I suspect you have spoken for many of us plant-impaired types; you certainly spoke for me. Seems like Eddie and JD have a lot of practical applications already at work.
Just want you to know that even though I have nothing of substance to add to the discussion, I certainly appreciate what you are doing and sharing.

Also find the permaculture discussion really fascinating but am not sure I'll be able to put anything to practical use, at least in the near term.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on October 30, 2013, 05:36:09 PM
I like this kind of thread.  Some of us are pretty hopeless at gardening and info on idiotproof edible plants is useful.

Im working at it today thinking about whether to try and hugelbed the vegetbale patches. Have plenty of wood around. Supposed to use less water, which is good since summer has started and I am getting a dam dug but dont have it yet, also a big shed/barn with more water tanks to take the runoff from, but dont have those yet either. So if hugelpiling is water efficient why not. Any veg area has to be made bird, rabbit, possum and roo proof too. Which of course is a 75mile trip to the nearest hardware store for materials.

I have bracken fern everywhere. Ive heard the leaves are poisonous but pigs eat the root. Is it edible for people?
One of these years I'm going to get around to building hugelkulture beds... but the dry season here generally only lasts a few weeks, so the water retention benefit isn't that great for me.  I'll mainly be doing it for wind protection.

Bracken fern. *shudder* You have my permission to use as much of that as you want.  Do not feel any compunction to try and save any.  If you are only 99% effective at harvesting it, it should come back without any problems.  That's right up there with English ivy, purple loosestrife, kudzu, Mexican bamboo, and garlic mustard in my book.

Is it edible?  Well, it does release cyanide when ingested, so that can be a problem.  And it does have a known carcinogen which also damages red blood cells.  And it destroys thiamine so you can develop beriberi.  But, the immature fiddleheads and the rhizomes have been used as food.

All mammals are pretty equally affected, it's mainly a question of dose versus body weight.  Interestingly enough, when insects eat it, they molt repeatedly in succession and die, so they are much more vulnerable.

Other uses for bracken fern are animal bedding, winter mulch, packing material, fuel, thatch, compost, and relieving stinging nettle.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on October 31, 2013, 02:43:03 AM


Bracken fern. *shudder* You have my permission to use as much of that as you want.  Do not feel any compunction to try and save any.  If you are only 99% effective at harvesting it, it should come back without any problems.  That's right up there with English ivy, purple loosestrife, kudzu, Mexican bamboo, and garlic mustard in my book.

Is it edible?  Well, it does release cyanide when ingested, so that can be a problem.  And it does have a known carcinogen which also damages red blood cells.  And it destroys thiamine so you can develop beriberi.  But, the immature fiddleheads and the rhizomes have been used as food.

All mammals are pretty equally affected, it's mainly a question of dose versus body weight.  Interestingly enough, when insects eat it, they molt repeatedly in succession and die, so they are much more vulnerable.

Other uses for bracken fern are animal bedding, winter mulch, packing material, fuel, thatch, compost, and relieving stinging nettle.

Thanks JD, Im guessing fiddleheads are the little balls like seeds, and rhizomes the roots?

I decided to attack it today using the tractor and slasher, pictured below (click on it) but I think I would be better off with a small ride on or big push mower. Tractor is overkill really, big diesel engine revving fast at around 2000rpm in low range 1st gear to cut. even a high power stihl brushcutter could do it I think.

Anyway tractor with slasher and 2 ploughs 1 shallow and 1 deep cost well over 10K, and I cant see any real use for it now Ive breathed in too much shit. On an open field ok, but turning and reversing around trees, dusty, smokey, noisy and spewing out heaps of co2. Also as you can see it doesnt cut it off well even when you go over twice, and its not blunt blades its new.

I saw a full size school bus for sale converted to an RV with a handmade spacious pine kitchen bench and sink and beds and bathroom. Wanted to get it for guest accomodation or temporary strorage space as it would not need approval of county/council like other buildings also all those windows to let sun warmth in. But could not justify it, really my family can sleep in tents if they visit. Im thinking if I just get rid of the tractor and equipment that goes with it, and get smaller mower then I can justify more or less trading tractor for bus. Smaller machinery would definitely use less fuel. I dont think I need the ploughs because I actually dont mind digging with shovels and hoes etc.

Or would I end up NEEDING a tractor later?



Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on October 31, 2013, 05:40:05 AM
Thanks JD, Im guessing fiddleheads are the little balls like seeds, and rhizomes the roots?
:new_shocked: um, no, the little balls like seeds are the spore sacs, definitely do not eat those.
Head of a fiddle:
(http://www.lazarsearlymusic.com/Violins/images/Lu-Mi/modern_violin_Guarnerius_head_big.jpg)
Fiddlehead:
(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-swXVlGmuaZo/UDl96xTPMkI/AAAAAAAAAKY/llkWCmTNy70/s1600/Fiddlehead+fern.jpg)
The rhizome is actually a stem that runs underground.
(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2428/4023102343_103f532a14_z.jpg?zz=1)
Quote
Or would I end up NEEDING a tractor later?
It sounds unlikely for your site that you would ever need a tractor, especially one that size.  The main thing you would need a tractor for is if you were using the keyline system, but that will mess up tree's root systems pretty badly, so it's sounds like it isn't even really an option for your site.

The sweet spot for productivity is the two-wheel, walk-behind tractor:
(http://a.images.blip.tv/Marcin_ose-ZeroTurnMicroTrac233.jpg)
Electric tractor video. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wNFAzGrjGM#)
They use far less fuel than full-size tractor but get much more work done than working by hand, and they are almost as maneuverable as a self-propelled lawnmower.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- An Aha! Moment
Post by: Eddie on October 31, 2013, 05:41:29 AM
Did some more research with the help of the teacher daughter, who is good at plant ID. Our conclusion is that my weeds are actually Helianthus decapetalus, the Ten Petal Sunflower. Since Sunchoke is a relative (Helianthus tuberosus) maybe I can introduce some and get them to do well.

The Ten Petals are not just growing in my yard, but all up and down the utility easement that runs behind all the houses on my street. It's pretty rugged back there for the most part and too rocky to mow. Right now it's wet here and still warm weather and they are blooming like crazy.

Uncle Bob, I can't imagine getting rid of my tractors. I actually don't use them that much, in terms of total fuel burned, but mine are used (when the damn things are running anyway) to dig post holes, and  I'm going to use my old backhoe to dig swales. I don't mow much anymore, but having a front end loader is extremely useful for picking up heavy stuff. I have to have the loader to pick up the Changfa engine I'm planning on using to power a bigger generator.  I can use the backhoe shovel to handle the large beams that I hope will eventually turn into my barn.

I guess the front end loader is what I'd miss most though. I use it every time I need to unload something big off the truck or trailer. I even use it when I change a flat tire. It's awfully handy.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- An Aha! Moment
Post by: jdwheeler42 on October 31, 2013, 07:02:12 AM
Did some more research with the help of the teacher daughter, who is good at plant ID. Our conclusion is that my weeds are actually Helianthus decapetalus, the Ten Petal Sunflower. Since Sunchoke is a relative (Helianthus tuberosus) maybe I can introduce some and get them to do well.
I am a little surprised and disappointed to hear that.  According to the USDA Plants (http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=hede) database, H. decapetalus doesn't even live in Texas.  But I bet nobody told the plants that lol.  I know it by its other common name, thinleaf sunflower, and I generally see it more in edge-of-the-woods types of habitats.  It seems to like more shade than sunchokes do.  I certainly wouldn't discourage you from trying sunchokes, but I wouldn't necessarily put them where the thinleaf sunflowers are.  In general the best thing to do is try them in different spots and let them sort out where they like best.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 31, 2013, 07:16:40 AM
I guess it could just be some Helianthus species that closely resembles the Ten Petal, but  all of the info seems to match...red color of stem, rough stem, flowers match exactly. These are in full sun though.

At a glance though, the resemblance to the Sunchoke is fairly close. I don't feel too bad about being faked out.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on October 31, 2013, 07:52:19 AM
I guess it could just be some Heliacanthus species that closely resembles the Ten Petal, but of all of the info seems to match...red color of stem, rough stem, flowers match exactly. These are in full sun though.

At a glance though, the resemblance to the Sunchoke is fairly close. I don't feel too bad about being faked out.
The first rule of plant identification, flowers are the least likely to vary, so they are the best thing to go by.  Habitat is about the worst thing to go by, plants very frequently will be found growing outside of their normal range.  Indeed, what constitutes normal range is not necessarily a function of the plant or the climate.  You might be surprised to hear that prickly pear actually does quite well in Pennsylvania -- as long as you keep it well weeded.  The reason it is not an indigenous species is that other plants will quickly smother it out if it has to fend for itself.

Definitely don't feel badly at all.  The two most difficult plant families for identification are grasses (in part because their flowers are so inconspicuous) and composites, like sunflowers, because what we think of as the flower is actually a group of flowers.  Each seed in a sunflower is produced by a single micro-flower, and each "petal" on the rim is actually a separate flower.  This means that the first rule of plant identification only applies to those micro-flowers and "petals"; there can be quite a bit of variation in the grouping.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Blessed Are the Farmers
Post by: Eddie on November 04, 2013, 07:02:09 AM
I spent much of Saturday riding around central Texas burning up fossil fuel, but it was for a good cause. Saturday was Farm Visit Day for my Permaculture class, and we were able to visit four farms, each of which is pursuing sustainable agriculture in it's own way.

It was a good trip. Each of the four farms was different.  They all had unique attributes and they weren't all on the same scale. The first was a home-based tree nursery, where the owner has, over several years, assembled an amazing list of native trees and shrubs. In addition to the cash crop though, much of the property has been turned into a food forest demo project.

It was the first time I've ever actually seen a real food forest. I will admit to some  internal resistance to accepting the whole concept of food foresting, although, like the guy from that TV series about the UFO's, I want to believe. It's just hard for me to see the concept working well enough to provide the large quantities of food a big family like mine consumes. I do realize that implicit in the concept is that we would be eating differently than is our custom, and I'm okay with that. Still....

I did notice that they also have a small but well-tended kitchen garden. It didn't look to me like the food forest was producing a whole lot of food at the moment, although it was producing some. I'm sure that it will produce more as the system matures. It takes time for that.

Anyway, it was informative to observe a family and a business trying to walk the walk on this, and in a micro-climate not too different from my place. Although I'm only about 25 or 30 miles as the crow flies from their location, my place is much drier at the moment, having missed most of the rain that fell to the east and south of me in Austin and the surrounding area.

I'm sure I will be coming back as a customer, because I'll really need trees that can stand up to the drought, and native trees are the best bet.

The second place we visited was the very first real grass farm operation I've visited. (Two of the places we visited were raising chickens in a similar way to Joel Salatin's methods.) This place was a small scale operation run by a family of four, with most of the work being done by the lady of the house (Lady of the barn?).

They consider themselves homesteaders more than production farmers, but they raise lots of 100 chickens at a time, run a few hogs, and also raise turkeys. It was a very well set up, tightly run operation, with everyone in the family participating, even the small pack of Great Pyrenees who protect the flocks from the local owls, hawks, and coyotes.

These dogs were amazing. Perfectly smooth and friendly with strange humans, but totally focused on the job for which they're bred.

These folks do sell chickens for meat, and their little processing building is a model for how to butcher chickens the right way. They kill the chickens  by bleeding them out, and then scald the feathers and run them through a small plucking machine that spins  and looks a little like a washing machine tub with little blunt rubber spikes inside.

All the equipment for that part of the process is under an open shed with a concrete floor. The de-feathered birds are then passed through a window into an enclosed room where the heads and feet are removed and the chickens are eviscerated and placed on ice for 24 hrs prior to freezing.

I hope to get to volunteer there sometime when they're actually killing and processing birds. I'd like to learn how to do it, especially the correct way to sever the carotids without nicking the birds' gullet.

The next place we visited was a big operation started by an early sustainable farming pioneer who has recently died and passed the farm to his children. This operation is an egg farm with 12 thousand chickens on pasture. The original owner was said to have started the place in his retirement years when he moved to the country to "live a life of elegant simplicity".

Somewhere along the way he started selling fresh eggs to a guy with a little health food store. This store grew into what is now Whole Foods Market, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The farmer, unable to get organic feed products for a price he could pay, started a little feed mill, which now has grown into a large operation and sells organic farm feeds as far away as the Carolinas.

This farm also uses compost tea, which they brew in those big square 300 gallon soda pop syrup containers. You. know, the ones with the cage around them. We got to see their set-up for that, which is something that looks doable for me and might be a way to overcome the problems with herbicide contaminated manure I've been worried about with my Horseshit Project. I'm going to do some more reading on this subject.

The last farm we visited was a duck and pig operation that was more of a hippie kind of place with a huge garden space that has gone a bit wild, where plants formerly cultivated have reseeded themselves over the years and crept around and discovered their own perfect spots.

The proprietor, another hard working lady farmer who runs the place with her BF and the assistance of other family and friends who live on site or come out to volunteer, started out a dozen or so years ago when someone gifted her with a large flock of ducks. Her main crop is duck eggs, which are wonderful. I know because we were already buying them at the local farmer's market before I ever visited her place.

Parked in the trees behind her house are a number of RVs and vintage travel trailers, which she collects for storage  and living spaces. As she pointed out, these rolling structures fall through the cracks when the tax man comes around. They aren't considered improvements, and therefore they do not cause the assessment to rise. It does look a little like a gypsy camp. I'm sure most of the diners would fit right in.

Her hogs are all descendants of local wild feral animals that she got from various sources. Feral hogs are wild looking animals compared to the heirloom hogs most organic farms raise. The breeding stock, running to several hundred pound animals, would worry me, but since she raised them they adore her and follow her around like puppies, looking for a treat.

All the farms (except the tree farm)were making use of lots of that portable electric fence that you can move around. It can be solar powered. A typical "corral" runs off one deep cycle marine battery for about a month between charges, from what I was told.

I'll tell you Diners, that last place I visited was not that different from what I'd envision the Foxstead to be. The lady had 80 acres, but almost all the food growing was taking place in zones one and two, within a hundred yards of the house, in an area of perhaps ten acres.

Other than the tree farm, all the farms I visited were out east of town in the better farm country that lies east of the Balcones Escarpment. The land there is better than most of my place, but I still feel like a sustainable farm is possible for me, after seeing how these folks are doing it.

I spent yesterday afternoon walking up and down the two main water courses that run down my bluff out at the 'stead. I am getting this vision of how to swale and terrace the dry washes. Someday they will be beautiful stair stepped terraces and pools, with walking paths beside them.

I am feeling the pull of the land, calling me out there to live. I'm not sure how I'm going to make it work with the family, but before long I need to be on site all the time. I just do. The time for that has arrived.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: WHD on November 04, 2013, 07:27:40 AM
Quote
I spent yesterday afternoon walking up and down the two main water courses that run down my bluff out at the 'stead. I am getting this vision of how to swale and terrace the dry washes. Someday they will be beautiful stair stepped terraces and pools, with walking paths beside them.

I am feeling the pull of the land, calling me out there to live. I'm not sure how I'm goin g to make it work with the family, but before long I need to be on site all the time. I just do. The time for that has arrived.


Blessings with that effort, Eddie. I hope you work it out.  :)

WHD
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 04, 2013, 08:40:46 AM
Thanks WHD. It will work itself out, I suspect by me camping out until I can someday build my beloved a house she is comfortable in. Fortunately, she is a fan of those tiny houses that people are building now. That helps.

The other main issue we have is that she likes the urban center. Not sure how to overcome that, but based on my research, it does appear that most women become very malleable when placed in the immediate presence of cute baby goats. I'm hoping I can use that, too.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Surly1 on November 04, 2013, 09:26:06 AM
Quote
I spent yesterday afternoon walking up and down the two main water courses that run down my bluff out at the 'stead. I am getting this vision of how to swale and terrace the dry washes. Someday they will be beautiful stair stepped terraces and pools, with walking paths beside them.

I am feeling the pull of the land, calling me out there to live. I'm not sure how I'm goin g to make it work with the family, but before long I need to be on site all the time. I just do. The time for that has arrived.


Blessings with that effort, Eddie. I hope you work it out.  :)

WHD

Yes, indeed. From over here, too.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 04, 2013, 09:31:25 AM
Thanks Surly. The thought is appreciated.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Blessed Are the Farmers
Post by: jdwheeler42 on November 04, 2013, 06:55:50 PM
I spent much of Saturday riding around central Texas burning up fossil fuel, but it was for a good cause. Saturday was Farm Visit Day for my Permaculture class, and we were able to visit four farms, each of which is pursuing sustainable agriculture in it's own way.
That was an extremely valuable class, Eddie.  Those are some excellent example of how to make a living doing this sort of stuff.  Luciddreams, are you paying attention?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: WHD on November 04, 2013, 07:32:24 PM
Thanks WHD. It will work itself out, I suspect by me camping out until I can someday build my beloved a house she is comfortable in. Fortunately, she is a fan of those tiny houses that people are building now. That helps.

The other main issue we have is that she likes the urban center. Not sure how to overcome that, but based on my research, it does appear that most women become very malleable when placed in the immediate presence of cute baby goats. I'm hoping I can use that, too.

Beloved may be less malleable when she gets a whiff of billy.  :laugh:  Or you, after an afternoon tending to the 'stead, if she is overly fond of urbanity.

Most urbane ladies I think will hardly but imagine life on a 'stead, before anything like troubles in cities that would arise when fiat currency turns that stage toward hyper'flation, oil resources constrained, gov and industry lies about abundance, progress, revealed etc. Here's hoping she still has the sense it took to marry a future 'steader. Though I imagine it might be harder for you to follow through with your dream if she isn't dreaming with you?

WHD
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: nobody on November 04, 2013, 07:46:21 PM
That was so beautifully written, Eddie, I felt like I was meandering around with you all day long.
Guy Macpherson wrote for years from his dry land farm before his wife who also loved urbania would come; sounds very happy now.
I wrote here a year or two back of my brother's farm; he raises goats not too far from you.  He was telling me one day that nothing ever bothered the goats and he had no idea why.  I was just laughing, watching the neighbor's Great Pyraneese standing right up to my brother's fenceline and looking over intently. 
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on November 04, 2013, 11:56:11 PM
Thanks for taking the time to relate that all back to us Eddie. Today as I sat down to lunch with 3 bantam eggs on toast from my chickens, I thought about all of us just focussing our consciousness on bleeding the beast, walking off and helping each other out, from enthusiasm not fear and how it could catch on. 
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 12, 2013, 07:11:09 AM
Time seems to be speeding up again, as it always does this time of year. Between the first of September and the end of the year my family has six birthdays and two major holidays to negotiate. Ten Saturdays of permaculture training piled on top of that makes for a fall that goes by very quickly.

I also need to get some additional hours of dental training to keep my Board happy, and this year Nov. 30 is the deadline to have it updated on their website. So tomorrow night I'm off to Provo for a couple of days for some implant training with one of the best known and best loved guys in my profession, who happens to be a Mormon. I've been up there before, though it's been a while. Provo is set at the foot of some gorgeous mountains. I've been skiing up near there for over a decade, but I've never been to Provo  in the fall. It's a freakishly clean little college town. The restaurants serve five kinds of lemonade but it's hard to find an iced tea or a  cup of coffee. I have to pack tonight, because I'll be leaving direct from work tomorrow.

I'm busting my butt to get the first drafts of my permaculture design finished, since I have to be ready to start the final part of my design Saturday morning after flying back late Friday night. My project is pretty simple, just some swales and terraces and some plant installations, but I'm no draftsman. It's slow going.

I got all the components in for the BugOut PV Kit, but I still have to order the wire and fuses to assemble it, as well as batteries. Places like Home Depot are clueless about what's needed, and a quick reconnaissance there revealed that they don't stock the 10-2 landscape wire I was planning to use for the DC runs from panel to charge controller, and they sure enough didn't have #4 for the battery connections.

I'm going to just order the stuff I need from eBay, from one of the alternative energy vendors there. They have the wire, the connectors, and even the tool needed to crimp on the battery terminal ends. Even the big DC fuses. You just have to know what you need. It's good that I didn't order the wire up front, because different charge controllers and inverters have different variations of terminals. It helped to draw the system out schematically and make a parts list for each leg of the system.

The hardest decision and the most confusing is how to ground such a system, and after reading a lot about it, I'm convinced that most experts are not in agreement about how to do it. It is acceptable I believe, for such a small system to be "floating", which is what they call an ungrounded system. If that's the case though, almost all legs of the circuits involved need to be fused. The subject is a little confusing. I wish Roamer were around more so I could discuss it with him. One way or another I should have it ready to test in a week or two.

My fall garden has been neglected, but the heavy rains we've gotten have kept it going. It mostly consists of what didn't die in the heat of the summer. I am picking tomatoes and eggplant and sweet potatoes,and a few peppers...and the artichoke I gave up on last summer is back with a vengeance. It is supposed to get down near freezing tonight. I meant to order some row cover fabric, but didn't get around to it. Maybe if i get off work early enough I can still get some. If not, I'll be rolling the dice.

I had thought I might get some work done on the other projects on Sunday, but it slipped by me. I did get out to hear my daughter perform at a local watering hole that serves something like a hundred beers on tap. They had a huge crowd, and the stage and sound were really good for a change. She sounds great when the production values are there. I was proud of her because this was her gig entirely. She solicited the job and hired the jazz trio that backed her, and they sounded awesome. Not bad for a kid two weeks away from her final in organic chemistry.

My wife and son will be flying to NYC for a few days later in the week, for him to visit grad schools. He's looking at Yale, Bard College, and Hunter. While there is nothing I'd like better than to see him get in any one of those, I'm dreading what the bottom line is going to be. Bard has a program where MFA students are only in residence a couple of months a year. I'm hoping like hell he gets in there. Yale is more likely to accept him, imho, but the cost is going to mean getting loans, I'm afraid. It's a rock and a hard place.

Adventurer daughter is headed to India in a few days, with her BF. They have scrimped and saved all year to make the trip. I am happy for them to get this opportunity, but I feel more worried these days about all of us splitting up and traveling great distances. I guess it's good for them to go now. Who knows when the bottom will fall out and such extravagances will be history? I just hope it all holds together until we are all back home, together.





Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: nobody on November 12, 2013, 01:24:15 PM
I hope you're a well-contented man, Eddie.  What a wonderful family and so rich a life you've made for yourself.  I wish you just a wee bit more time to enjoy it.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on November 12, 2013, 03:50:36 PM
Good luck with everything and well done with your kids accomplishments.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 12, 2013, 03:56:37 PM
Thanks UB and nobody. I've been lucky on the family front. I have good kids and a good partner. Now if I could just talk her into moving out to the 'stead....
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Golden Oxen on November 12, 2013, 04:37:38 PM
Thanks UB and nobody. I've been lucky on the family front. I have good kids and a good partner. Now if I could just talk her into moving out to the 'stead....

How would you like to be me Doc? :-\ :-\  Mine told me to leave yesterday if I want, just leave the Gold, the Rolls, and the house keys with me Dumb Dumb she said.

Pussy wouldn't like a tribal agricultural community style of living I'm afraid.  :'( :'( :exp-laugh: :exp-laugh:

                                                   
Pussy Galore
Pussy Galore

                                         
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 12, 2013, 05:33:05 PM
It's a difficult sell, this doomsteading. I think it might get easier at some point if food gets scarce.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Eddie gets his PDC
Post by: Eddie on November 23, 2013, 05:13:34 PM
I've graduated from lots of schools, colleges, and various professional programs of one kind or another in my life.

As one of my old bosses once explained to me, I've reached that point in my education where taking  a test is no longer a way for me to get pumped up and feeling good about myself if I pass. It just IS still a way for me to feel bad about myself if I don't pass.

With that sentiment in mind, I'm glad I did pass my PDC.... which didn't involve passing a test, thankfully, but did involve finishing the homework, which is producing the various maps that constitute a permaculture design.

My design was finished and presented today, along with the designs of 25 other folks, each one of whom I watched present. They were all good designs, just as good or better than mine. I can't help but feel good that there are so many excellent people out there trying to build a more sustainable way of living. People of all ages and all levels. My hat is off to all of them as they pursue their designs and their pursuit of permaculture.

I still failed to achieve my original goal of making a master permaculture plan for the 'stead, but I'm probably ready to consider that now...or at least better prepared than I was.

If nothing else, this course has made me appreciate how much I enjoy not working on Saturday. After ten short weekends in a row, I'm feeling a little strung out and deprived of "me" time. Of course, from now until New Years is busy as hell anyway, and I'm not likely to slow down much until January. Me and three of my kids have birthdays between now and Christmas. A short vacation is planned between Christmas and New Years. Less opulent and shorter than in years past, mainly because I am insisting that we be more frugal these days.

My garden looks like a Christo installation. I wrapped all the beds last night with heavy row cover. We are having our first cold weather of the year. I got lucky last Tuesday, the first cold night. Even the tomatoes made it. It warmed back up for a few days, but another cold front hit yesterday morning. It's about 35F here and rainy and miserable. It's going to last until Monday, and then warm up. I hope the plants make it. I don't plan to uncover them all weekend.

We have a tradition of having Thanksgiving dinner in the park, in the outdoors. Looks like it might be fairly cool here. I hope we can still do it, but plan B is being discussed.

I'm home where it's warm, having a glass of good wine and putting my feet up, now. No more collapsing until tomorrow.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Eddie gets his PDC
Post by: RE on November 23, 2013, 06:06:03 PM
Kudos on getting the PDC Eddie!  Your Bylines can now be tagged Eddie,BS, DDS, PDC.

I will Tag mine RE, BA, MS, DC, FCBA. The last 2,  Doctor of Collapse, First Class Bullshit Artist.  LOL.

No rest for the Weary dude.  We need CONTENT on SUN  :icon_sunny:!

Definitely NOT doing Thanksgiving outdoors up here.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Eddie gets his PDC
Post by: JoeP on November 23, 2013, 06:19:33 PM
Quote from: RE link=topic=1702.msg37076#msg37076 date
Definitely NOT doing Thanksgiving outdoors up here.

RE

I looked at a Palmer weather forecast.  Looks like a great opportunity to experiment in ... Stay inside.
 
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead - Mr PDC
Post by: WHD on November 23, 2013, 06:37:50 PM
How shall I address you now?  :icon_scratch: Mr Eddie PDC? Mr PDC? Straight up, "PDC"?  :icon_mrgreen:

Congrats. Drink up. Stay warm. It's about 0 degrees here. Eager to see the results.

WHD

PS - No PDC here, but the soil temp in my garage greenhouse, an hour after sunset, with the outside temp @ about 10, was 60 degrees.  ;)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead - Mr PDC
Post by: JoeP on November 23, 2013, 07:44:40 PM

Congrats. Drink up. Stay warm. It's about 0 degrees here.

About 10 and getting to zero according to TWC...winter has arrived? ........stay inside.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Eddie gets his PDC
Post by: RE on November 23, 2013, 08:09:07 PM
Quote from: RE link=topic=1702.msg37076#msg37076 date
Definitely NOT doing Thanksgiving outdoors up here.

RE

I looked at a Palmer weather forecast.  Looks like a great opportunity to experiment in ... Stay inside.

Bad Road conditions cancelled a trip down to Soldotna scheduled for this weekend.

However, I do need to brave the roads now to go replenish the Beer Supply.  :icon_mrgreen:

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead - Mr PDC
Post by: WHD on November 23, 2013, 08:09:59 PM

Congrats. Drink up. Stay warm. It's about 0 degrees here.

About 10 and getting to zero according to TWC...winter has arrived? ........stay inside.

Without sympathy. For the next few days. 35 will indeed feel like THANKSGIVING.  :icon_sunny:

WHD
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Eddie gets his PDC
Post by: WHD on November 23, 2013, 08:14:24 PM
Quote from: RE link=topic=1702.msg37076#msg37076 date
Definitely NOT doing Thanksgiving outdoors up here.

RE

I looked at a Palmer weather forecast.  Looks like a great opportunity to experiment in ... Stay inside.

Bad Road conditions cancelled a trip down to Soldotna scheduled for this weekend.

However, I do need to brave the roads now to go replenish the Beer Supply.  :icon_mrgreen:

RE

Drinking a Bells Cherry Stout, tastes like wet dog. Had a Bad Weather Firefly before that that tasted like pine needles. A Rush River Imperial IPA before that, quite good but not their best. Some Maple stout in the fridge. That and a bottle of mead.  :icon_mrgreen: Should be good through Sunday. Greenhouse work, and SUN content.

WHD
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Eddie gets his PDC
Post by: Surly1 on November 24, 2013, 03:52:28 AM
My design was finished and presented today, along with the designs of 25 other folks, each one of whom I watched present. They were all good designs, just as good or better than mine. I can't help but feel good that there are so many excellent people out there trying to build a more sustainable way of living. People of all ages and all levels. My hat is off to all of them as they pursue their designs and their pursuit of permaculture.

I still failed to achieve my original goal of making a master permaculture plan for the 'stead, but I'm probably ready to consider that now...or at least better prepared than I was.

Congratulations. Your point about the others "trying to build a more sustainable way of living. People of all ages and all levels" gives real cause for at least a sliver of optimism.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- The PV Bugout Kit, Continued
Post by: Eddie on November 27, 2013, 12:02:48 PM
I'm still waiting on wire and fuses to arrive, mostly from Solar Blvd. I ordered the wrong DC fuse block for the 100 amp DC fuse I bought. I ordered a replacement, but in the meantime I ran across a better design for less money from Samlex, available from a variety of sources. I bought this kind:

(https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTgKvteUcVDtd8kLoLQXizJ5xrmC7Wvm8Z7IV-_v9iYJzuG_0ZaVQ)


But I recommend this kind, because it can mount right on the battery post.

(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSUjxmqwV3eVjIdb_8WaW4H8Jcp3qHw88aTKEEJ04afQYSwR-SitQ)

But the cheapest replacement fuses are this kind:

(https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTcbcXQRiIQgIIZbCsQ6goiMkhS9qqk6lrcGSz_19Dt-QdOZBRl)

So maybe that would be even better. This kind of fuse is 100% necessary, because it protects the battery bank itself from dead shorting and becoming a welder for a few seconds before setting whatever the wires are touching on fire.


I am working on a short list of appliances that might go along with the Bug-Out PV kit. High on the list is refrigeration. For a nomadic set-up. I like this one, the CF 110 by Dometic. Look for a discount price from one of the RV stores, like PPL. Only draws 4.5 amps at 12 volts. Highly rated Danfoss compressor. Gets great reviews.

(http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv-refrigerators/cf-110-web-sml.jpg)

To that list I'm adding LED lights, a crock pot, and a toaster oven, not yet completely sure which ones. I'm not too impressed by the reviews on the DC models.

Please tell me what else you'd like to see that runs off electricity that belongs on this list. Assume 300W AC inverter as a limiting factor.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on November 28, 2013, 10:58:26 PM
That fridge freezer is exactly the model I ended up getting. 80L fridge freezer without seperate compartments. Will be able to freeze pretty much a sheep or goat, or just use normally in between.That is about 4 times as expensive as the ones you showed me though, which are not sold here. Plus I was impressed with their advertising being racially inclusive.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 29, 2013, 09:14:36 AM
UB

On the price thing...here we can get the Dometic CF 110 at big discounts through various big RV retailers. That EcoCool unit I showed you goes for about $1100 American here, while I can get the Dometic for about $750. I guess you just don't have the competition there.

I see the Dometic as preferable for a bug-out situation. The EcoCool is too big to throw in my truck. It does however, have a separate freezer compartment, which makes it better for the 'stead.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on November 29, 2013, 09:58:48 AM
UB

On the price thing...here we can get the Dometic CF 110 at big discounts through various big RV retailers. That EcoCool unit I showed you goes for about $1100 American here, while I can get the Dometic for about $750. I guess you just don't have the competition there.

I see the Dometic as preferable for a bug-out situation. The EcoCool is too big to throw in my truck. It does however, have a separate freezer compartment, which makes it better for the 'stead.

What you don't have a flatbed trailer?  Every good prepper needs a flatbed trailer!  This one on Craig's List Austin TX for $550!  :icon_mrgreen:

(http://images.craigslist.org/00202_aHtF0SwqCTB_600x450.jpg)

Far as UBs prices go, what about ordering one here and shipping it down to him?  How would that cost situation work out?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 29, 2013, 10:52:36 AM
That is NOT a trailer. It's an old hay wagon, designed to be pulled by mules. It has widely spaced axles, and the front axle swivels on a vertical pin, like a Radio Flyer. Not good for fossil fuel pulling over about 10mph.

Of course I have a flat bed. An 18 footer...and I have the dump trailer too. Don't be ridiculous. I couldn't do much without a trailer. However, it does not figure into my bug-out plan. LOL.

I really don't have much of a bug-out plan, but the portable PV set-up is fairly compatible with just about any such plan, imho.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on November 29, 2013, 11:07:44 AM

Of course I have a flat bed. An 18 footer...and I have the dump trailer too. Don't be ridiculous.

What about a Lowboy?  GOTTA have one of those to move around your Backhoe

(http://haletrailer.com/images/Sales/Lowboys/Fonspec-Lowboy-46347-Over.jpg)

...Speaking of which, have you looked into getting a small CAT or Daiwoo Backhoe and Front End Loader?  It would make improvements to the Toothstead way easier.

(http://www.ivestraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/CAT-Loader-Backhoe-480x228.jpg)

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 29, 2013, 11:32:27 AM
No lowboy, no fifth wheel, no goose neck. And no, I DON'T have a trailer big enough to haul the backhoe. It weighs 12000 pounds and it would take a wide body deck-over. Hard to justify, even for an equipment junkie like me.

My backhoe does have a loader. It's the only one I have that works at the moment. It ain't no Daewoo though. It's an Allis Chalmers. The little Kubota is my preferred loader, and I have it set up to run the concrete mixer too. If I could just get it running right. That is a priority, now that the PDC is done and I get my Saturdays back. Both the Kubota and the IHC 50 horse that's supposed to dig post holes. I need to find a decent mechanic who can fix my old shit.

Every piece of equipment I have I bought for a specific doomsteading purpose. They all need to run to get the 'stead ready for the New Age Wiccan monks to move in for the bottleneck. After that we can power down and work more by hand.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on November 29, 2013, 04:32:24 PM


Far as UBs prices go, what about ordering one here and shipping it down to him?  How would that cost situation work out?

RE

I already have one but did get it shipped from the mainland, the same one eddie has pictured and is called a WAECO, obviously they changed the name there due to the david koresh association. Its doing a great job, runs 12 or 24v DC or 120 or 240AC.

In case that ever breaks down, I also have a Silent Knight (ominous name for something producing the goodnight killer carbon monoxicde) gas fridge. That looks like it was built in the 50's works fine with a  gas bottle, just has had no use since 50 years ago. No moving parts as far as I can tell. This apparently you can raise higher and burn wood underneath instead. I have more wood than anyone could ever burn.

Stocking masses of salt if you live inland to preserve meat is another road to take.

But be damned if I can see how a flame acts to produce cold.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 29, 2013, 04:40:18 PM
But be damned if I can see how a flame acts to produce cold.

You didn't think anybody here would try to answer that one? LOL.

The gas fridge uses ammonia for a refrigerant. Takes a gas flame to boil it off. About as much as an old school stove pilot light.



It's a system called "Continuous Absorption".

The Continuous Absorption type of cooling unit is operated by the application of a limited amount of heat, which is provided by propane. Unlike a conventional electric refrigerator, no moving parts are required on a propane refrigerator.

The unit consists of four parts:

boiler
condenser
evaporator
absorber


The Cooling Process

The required heat is provided by a burner, which is fitted under the central tube.
The refrigerator is charged with a specific combination and quantity of ammonia, water and hydrogen at a pressure sufficient to condense ammonia at the ambient (room) temperature for which the unit was designed.
When heat is supplied to the boiler system, bubbles of ammonia gas are produced which rise and carry with them, quantities of weak ammonia solution through a siphon pump. This weak solution passes into a tube, while the ammonia vapour passes into a vapour pipe and on to a water seperator. Here, any vapour is condensed and is retuned to the boiler system. What's left is dry ammonia vapour which passes on to the condenser. Air circulating over the fins of the condenser removes heat from the ammonia vapour causing it to condense to liquid ammonia. From this stage, the liquid ammonia flows to an evaporator.
The evaporator is supplied with hydrogen. The hydrogen passes accross the surface of the ammonia and lowers the ammonia vapour pressure sufficiently to allow the liquid ammonia to evaporate. The evaporation of the ammonia extracts heat from the evaporator. This, in turn, extracts heat from the food storage area, lowering the temperature inside the refrigerator.
The mixture of ammonia and hydrogen vapour passes from the evaporator to an absorber. When a continuous trickle of weak ammonia solution enters the upper portion of the absorber by gravity. Flowing down through the absorber, this weak solution comes in contact with the mixed ammonia and hydrogen gases, which readily absorbs the ammonia mixture. This leaves the hydrogen free to rise through the absorber coil and return to the evaporator. The hydrogen continues to circulate continuously between the absorber and the evaporator.
The strong ammonia solution produced in the absorber flows down to the absorber vessel and from there to the boiler system, completing the cycle of operation.
Heat is generated in the absorber by the process of absorption. This heat must be dissipated into the surrounding air. Heat must also be dissipated from the condenser in order to cool the ammonia vapour sufficiently for it to liquify. Free air ciruculation is neccessary over the absorber and condenser.


Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on November 29, 2013, 04:59:53 PM
Since you guys are talking 12V, I suggest you also consider investing in some thermoelectric modules as a backup.  They are CHEAP by comparison to what you guys are forking over and if you have passive cooling systems that keep the inside of your house at 70 or below will bring down the temp to freezing inside any insulated box you build.  Only $34.95 a piece from Peltier (http://www.adafruit.com/products/1335?gclid=CPPeps2li7sCFaE1Qgod-TYAZg)!

(http://www.adafruit.com/images/medium/1335_MED.jpg)

I bet with a dozen or so you could make a pretty serviceable Walk-In cooler using commercial insulation panels or blowfoam.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 29, 2013, 05:11:04 PM
Draws 5 amps, which is as much as a small compressor. I bought one to play with. We'll see. Have you used one?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on November 29, 2013, 05:20:06 PM
Draws 5 amps, which is as much as a small compressor. I bought one to play with. We'll see. Have you used one?

Yah for 6 years in the truck.  My fridge was a Coleman Thermoelectric Cooler.  Kept everything inside at or near freezing, and doesn't draw current all the time.  Depends where you set the thermostat and how cool the exterior environment is.

I only had to replace the fan once.  The thermoelectric module never gave out.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Zena Welder...COMPLETE!
Post by: Eddie on December 01, 2013, 04:14:03 PM
In a world filled with ongoing projects, I am happy to report at least one small one finished. The Zena welder/DC battery charger is up and running. I struck the first arc this afternoon. It seems to be a good welder, as reviewed by others.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on December 05, 2013, 05:28:39 PM
The gardens are covered up again. It looks like we are going to have several more days of borderline freezing weather. This isn't the usual...for the last several years we generally have not had more than one or two such days in a row, with a rapid return to our "normal" winter weather, which is daytime temps in the 70-80F range and nights no lower than the low 50's.

I spent the last couple of days installing removable hoops on my raised beds to make it easier to deal with the row cover fabric. My system is still evolving, but most of the plants look well protected. It won't get really cold until tomorrow night, so I can make a few improvements tomorrow, hopefully. My short term goal is to keep tomatoes alive through Christmas.

I got most of the remaining stuff in to finish the Bugout PV Set-up yesterday. I am only lacking the things I ordered that turned out to be the wrong size, etc, like that fuse block I mentioned and now also some battery cable. I ordered 4-0 cable, not realizing that shit is MASSIVE. Can barely even bend it. It's too big to terminate on the small 300W inverter I have, so I ordered some 2AWG, which is the size of normal car battery cables. I'll use the 4-0 eventually on the big set-up I'm designing for the Toothstead.

I did get all the wiring to hook up the panels to the batteries, which is 10-2 with those cool MC4 connectors which look like a huge improvement over the older generation plugs. Weatherproof and they just snap together. They do require pliers or a special tool to disconnect the terminals once they're put together. I have the wire and connectors (I think) to hook up the panels in parallel, which will give 12V, or in series, which will give 24. I'm leaning toward letting the panels feed 24V to the charge controller (MPPT controllers can take the higher voltage). The reason is that you can have a longer run with less voltage drop, so that the panels can be about 30% further away from the batteries with the same size wire.

As I said before, the Zena Welder/DC generator is finished and working, although I haven't had time to practice with my welding yet. I do hope to make some video footage of that project as soon as the weekend, weather permitting. Maybe I can also take some pics of the garden, which has been neglected for the most part this fall but is still hanging in there.

The days are so short now I don't have much daylight after work.I took off early this afternoon, but still got caught by dark before I had my plants covered completely.

My son is graduating college next Friday (the 13th,LOL.). He is in a good place right now...makes me happy to see him getting a little recognition from people he respects at his school. Just a few years ago I was very worried about him after his childhood best friend OD'ed...and he fell into a depression that lasted about a year before he pulled himself out of it and got on with his life. Now if he can get in one of the grad schools he wants, I'll be thrilled. Collapse is a fact..but for the young, life goes on and plans are made, for better or worse.

I'm glad the PDC course is over. For the moment, I'm not going to be implementing my design, but I do hope to before too long. Maybe I can get all my tractors back online and fully functional before spring. It's still very dry at the 'stead, which pisses me off because we've had lots of rain at the house in Austin...but just to the north and west it's still parched. It is what it is.

Just an update. It seems like I never have as much time, this time of year, to get things done. What is that all about?



Title: Re: Better Mousetrap
Post by: Eddie on December 07, 2013, 11:34:27 AM
I just ran across this Sundanzer fridge on eBay. It's a stand alone solar PV refrigerator that requires NO BATTERY BANK at all. They claim it requires a single dedicated 120W 12V panel, which, if true, is some incredible efficiency.

(http://i1314.photobucket.com/albums/t566/hcpus/12voltstores/DDR165_zpsad5dd31e.jpg)


DDR165 Direct-Drive Solar Refrigerator

Battery Free Refrigerator, 12V

Ideal for the storage of non-perishable items.

Gross Capacity: 5.8 cu. ft./163 liters
Product Dimensions (W x D x H): 36.8 x 26.2 x 34.5 inches / 93.5 x 66.5 x 87.6 cm
Shipping Dimensions (W x D x H): 39 x 30 x 39 inches / 99 x 76 x 99 cm
Shipping Weight: 200 lb. / 57 kg.
Avoid battery and charge controller costs with SunDanzer direct-drive solar refrigerators. These high efficiency refrigerators are made for direct connection to your solar panel, eliminating the need for expensive deep-cycle batteries, charge controllers and battery maintenance. As a stand-alone application, the direct-drive solution can provide reliable refrigeration at greatly reduced cost for non-perishable goods. SunDanzer is proud to be the first to manufacture a battery-free solar refrigerator designed for the off-grid user. You can expect the same reliable exacting standards that have made SunDanzer the leading solar refrigerator manufacturer.

How it works: High quality construction provides excellent reliability and long life. Super-insulated chest-style cabinets feature over 4 inches of polyurethane insulation with powder coated galvanized steel exterior and aluminum interior. A zero maintenance, brushless DC compressor with a built in soft start function operates on 12 VDC and connect directly to your solar PV system. A patented low-frost system reduces frost and moisture build-up for low maintenance of the unit.

Features

Runs on a single 120W module
12 VDC powered directly from panels
Environmentally friendly CFC-free refrigerant
Scratch resistant galvanized steel exterior
Easy to clean aluminum interior
Interior light for better visibility
Patented low frost system
Automatic temperature control
Baskets for food organization
Technical Specifications

Physical and Electrical Specifications:
Input voltage 10-45 VDC
Panel voltage 12 V nominal
Power (typical – max) 40 – 80 W
Fuse size: 15 amp
Ambient T Range 50 to 109°F (10 to 43°C)
Thermostat Range 30 to 48°F (-1 to 9°C)
Exterior Dimensions 36.8W x 26.2D x 34.5H in
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on December 07, 2013, 12:16:06 PM
Even really well insulated will not make it through the night in your nabe in summer without icecream melting. It probably has a built in deep cycle batt. Description of construction is all quality. What capacity and cost?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on December 07, 2013, 12:22:18 PM
Good points. I will do more research. I hadn't considered that they might have their own battery. If so, not nearly as impressive.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on December 07, 2013, 12:38:37 PM
Good points. I will do more research. I hadn't considered that they might have their own battery. If so, not nearly as impressive.

 

I would drop the hint by asking over dinner if your family thinks santa could get a 163L Sundanzer down the chimney or would need the door  ;)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on December 07, 2013, 12:41:23 PM
Okay...here's the deal. Apparently this tech was pioneered by Sundanzer in conjunction with international NGO's for vaccine storage in the bush.

The secret weapon is not a built in battery, it's an ice jacket that holds the cold when there's no sun. At least that's the way the vaccine refrigerators do it. I can't confirm that the domestic version works the same way, but it probably does.

They make more than one size...the one I posted is 163 liters/165 quarts capacity. It is said to draw 40 to 80W, which is quite low.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on December 07, 2013, 12:43:23 PM
I never ask before buying preps, because the answer is always "no".  LOL.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on December 07, 2013, 01:13:22 PM
I never ask before buying preps, because the answer is always "no".  LOL.

The classic car club guys had a saying "its easier to seek forgiveness than permission". I just believed if it went UNDER the hood or chassis and could not be seen or ON amex there was no need to alarm anyone unnecessarily. For her own part she just took the line "this is old thing? had it for years". LOL
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Monday, Monday
Post by: Eddie on December 09, 2013, 08:11:26 AM
I did a couple of general anesthesia cases this morning at the day surgery, and now I'm hanging around at a coffeehouse nearby waiting for a doctors appointment of my own with my dermatologist, who periodically cuts shit off my bald head (including one confirmed squamous cell carcinoma so far.).

My mom told me to wear a hat. Shoulda listened.

It was an inclement weekend here, with the temperature hovering around freezing from Friday morning until Sunday morning. Yesterday, though, the weather warmed up and the sun came out. I finally got a chance to shoot some video. I got some footage of the 24V milsurp generator and also the Zena welder/generator.

I managed to get the files on the computer, and hopefully I can get them uploaded to youtube so I can post them. They aren't stellar videos, but they aren't terrible, I don't think. Mostly I was just trying to get something I could work with to figure out how to upload this stuff, which apparently most people are born knowing how to do now.

The little camera worked well, although it has no zoom, and you have to get close to show details. I think I'll be using it a lot. Looking forward to your critiques, but be gentle, okay. I'm no pro on this stuff, and it will take me a while to get up to speed. There are some small errors in the vids that won't be edited out. These first ones are only a practice run.

With a little luck I'll get them up here later today.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Monday, Monday
Post by: RE on December 10, 2013, 12:40:02 AM
I managed to get the files on the computer, and hopefully I can get them uploaded to youtube so I can post them. They aren't stellar videos, but they aren't terrible, I don't think. Mostly I was just trying to get something I could work with to figure out how to upload this stuff, which apparently most people are born knowing how to do now.

The little camera worked well, although it has no zoom, and you have to get close to show details. I think I'll be using it a lot. Looking forward to your critiques, but be gentle, okay. I'm no pro on this stuff, and it will take me a while to get up to speed. There are some small errors in the vids that won't be edited out. These first ones are only a practice run.

With a little luck I'll get them up here later today.

If You Tube won't load them because they are too long, chop them up into Parts using Windows Movie Maker. Also, you can use Movie Maker to reduce the file sizes.  This might allow you to add longer vids to You Tube

Or you could buy yourself a Vimeo Account to load up bigger stuff which we all could use too.  ;)  The Go Pro Account (https://vimeo.com/store/pro) is $199/year. 20GB a Week! I've been toying with buying this but myself have not produced Vids of such length I need it.  When I record Hangouts at the Cafe, You Tube has no issues with 2 hour vids at the moment.  My I Spy Doom vids are generally 10 min or less so no issues with them on You Tube.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on December 10, 2013, 04:42:42 AM
Here's a link to the first one. Took forever to upload. I need to figure out how to do some of the things you suggested. No time to see if this link works. I'm headed out the door.


 http://youtu.be/92NhksT5grQ (http://youtu.be/92NhksT5grQ)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on December 10, 2013, 05:22:57 AM
Here's a link to the first one. Took forever to upload. I need to figure out how to do some of the things you suggested. No time to see if this link works. I'm headed out the door.


 http://youtu.be/92NhksT5grQ (http://youtu.be/92NhksT5grQ)

Took a look at the vid which came out fine on a strict vid level of tech.

On a tutorial level though, you got some work to do.  LOL.

I will try to be polite.  You have a REALLY bad verbal crutch issue going with "Uhs". I suggest slowing down your speech a bit to compose what you are going to say without the Uhs.

Next, you would be better off setting your camera so it can record YOU, as opposed to just looking at the machine.  I would set the camera about 10 feet back from the machine on a tripod, then crouch next to it so you are in the picture pointing out various aspects of the machine.

Not claiming perfection here on verbal crutches myself, when I do a scriptless Cafe, I have my share of Uhs and You Knows also.  However, your initial foray here has too many.  You also gotta get yourself into the vids.  People wanna SEE people.  You can't be "behind the camera" all the time.  Rule of thumb, I think at least 25% of the time you need to be on screen as a Talking Head here.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on December 10, 2013, 08:21:03 AM
Thanks for the critique. I think I'll get better on the uhs and ahs. It was just completely unscripted and off the top of my head. I understand about the camera too. I will get a tripod.

My main objective was to create some files I could manipulate on the computer. I still have to work on that part too. Just taking baby steps.

I'm not actually suggesting these files be used at all. Just a rehearsal. Thanks for suffering through my youtube debut. LOL.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: WHD on December 10, 2013, 08:36:42 AM
Here's a link to the first one. Took forever to upload. I need to figure out how to do some of the things you suggested. No time to see if this link works. I'm headed out the door.


 http://youtu.be/92NhksT5grQ (http://youtu.be/92NhksT5grQ)

Took a look at the vid which came out fine on a strict vid level of tech.

On a tutorial level though, you got some work to do.  LOL.

I will try to be polite.  You have a REALLY bad verbal crutch issue going with "Uhs". I suggest slowing down your speech a bit to compose what you are going to say without the Uhs.

Next, you would be better off setting your camera so it can record YOU, as opposed to just looking at the machine.  I would set the camera about 10 feet back from the machine on a tripod, then crouch next to it so you are in the picture pointing out various aspects of the machine.

Not claiming perfection here on verbal crutches myself, when I do a scriptless Cafe, I have my share of Uhs and You Knows also.  However, your initial foray here has too many.  You also gotta get yourself into the vids.  People wanna SEE people.  You can't be "behind the camera" all the time.  Rule of thumb, I think at least 25% of the time you need to be on screen as a Talking Head here.

RE

I watched it too. Learned a few things. The whole of the information could have been compressed too, by about a third, with a bit of scripting about major points. It sounds like you are riffing, off-the-cuff, which is good for generating lots of uhs, because you are in your head, not out engaging. That speaks to the visual, too, of oneself, which I myself am reluctant about. But then, if we want the SUN to build momentum....

WHD

ps - couldn't you just hook a flywheel to that fancy alternator, from the diesel, for the welding? Or is it just that you want one stationary and one mobile?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on December 10, 2013, 09:42:41 AM
ps - couldn't you just hook a flywheel to that fancy alternator, from the diesel, for the welding? Or is it just that you want one stationary and one mobile?

While it's possible, it would not necessarily be easy unless you were a machinist. Those military gennys probably have a tapered shaft that mates specifically with the generator head they come with. The Harbor Freight engine has a straight shaft.

As a shade tree mechanic, it's beyond my capability. It's easier for a lay person to work with a straight shaft and off-the-shelf sheaves and belts.

In my estimation, you'd be better off using the diesel (for 24V anyway) and letting the welder be the back-up. It's absolutely essential to have redundancy with your generating equipment, because if you need one and you don't have one, you damage your batteries. I consider two generators to be the minimum number, and it would be nice to have a third that would run off the tractor PTO.

If you have grid power on site, as I do, the first and best way to charge batteries is with a "smart" battery charger that plugs into the wall outlet. I don't have one yet, but I'm looking at the type used for permanent installation on boats. They are superior in construction to automotive battery chargers. Using that will always be Plan A as long as we have BAU with grid power.

I am hoping (and I'll eventually find out if I'm right) that if my power needs are modest, the generators will seldom be used at all. They are still necessary, though.

The military 24V only uses .33 gallons per hour.  A typical big AC unit like many people buy might use 6 times as much.  Just to compare.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: WHD on December 10, 2013, 11:18:51 AM
Quote
The military 24V only uses .33 gallons per hour.  A typical big AC unit like many people buy might use 6 times as much.  Just to compare.

If you can run it on veggie oil, that's 12x better a purchase. (2gallons/hour! good gawd, the typical suburbanite would need what, 150 gallons to get through a 3-day outage? LOL. Social collapse, they'd be out of juice before the zombies arrived.)

WHD
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on December 11, 2013, 12:37:54 AM
yes maybe make notes b4hand to cut down on the ad lib flow, but MR ED would not be quite right without saying OK, so sprinkle liberally, okay  ;D.

More seriously,
1 My AC generator which I havent used for a couple months at least now automatically revs up when you turn on an appliance then drops back down, so what you said about the revs being up all the time for the AC appliance starting load isnt always so.

2 You mentioned the price of the motor but not the alternator in the zena welder, as it doubles as a spare generator, its main use you said, ppl need to know how much you save by building it over buying a generator outright. For arc welding, 2 batts on a trolley will do using jump leads.

3 it could use wheels, I wouldnt want to carry that too far, especially when its hot.

4 You mentioned the noise and economy aspects of the diesel, but  not the best thing, if you use it occasionally and it sits idle a lot, the fuel doesnt lose volatility in short time like petrol. That matters if you use solar most of the time and are not running the genny every week or two. Also the cost of the yanmar military. Most people just go to home depot or similar and grab something new off the shelf, so if that one is more reliable AND cost effective to buy with ubiquitous parts that info helps.

A succesful test flight though.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on December 17, 2013, 04:47:05 PM
Having the flu is just not the kind of near death experience I'm looking for. Having it made me feel sorry for all those poor people who died in 1918, before we understood fluid replacements and electrolytes. What a way to go it must have been, blinding headaches, raging fevers with sweat soaked sheets and uncontrollable diarrhea. Yuch.

It was rough couple of days, but I conquered it with Gatorade, Ibuprofen and Mucinex. Fortunately I had family on hand to make me take my medicine. At times I didn't much care. I think I'm almost clear now. I haven't taken any drugs since 1pm, and I'm not spiking a temp. We'll see.

Left me in a bit of a nasty mood. I noticed my tolerance was slipping today. Sorry if I said anything offensive....

That's not why I'm writing this, though. I wanted to comment on something else. It's a perception I have, of supply chains that are getting stretched.

I mean, I've spent weeks now waiting for small things to arrive for the Bugout PV Kit. Things like wire and fuses and little things that don't cost much (well, that's changing too, but that's not the problem). The problem is just that it's taking much longer than it should to get simple generic parts to wire up a set of solar panels that I DELIBERATELY designed for simplicity and ease of building.

I decided to order another panel and I got that in three days...but the fuses I ordered off eBay two weeks ago have yet to arrive, and battery cables I ordered a week ago aren't in yet. It's maddening. I just don't buy that it's a Christmas delay. I still get good delivery on dental stuff at the office...but solar panel wiring paraphernalia seems to be at a premium. Supply and demand? Maybe.

This is different than my online buying experiences of prior years. I wonder if it means anything.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Golden Oxen on December 17, 2013, 06:06:23 PM
Quote
This is different than my online buying experiences of prior years. I wonder if it means anything.

It is all part and parcel of the squeeze that's coming Doc. Less help, don't deliver or make a trip to the post office unless you have multiple orders, they can always wait. Gonna get worse for sure.

Glad you are feeling better. got a flu shot a few weeks ago and was sick as a bastard for two days, can't imagine how bad the real thing must be. Caught one twenty or so years ago that almost killed me, a real bad one, they can be nasty affairs.

 
   
   

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Bug-Out PV Kit Update
Post by: Eddie on January 12, 2014, 03:08:47 PM
When I set out to build the Bug-Out PV Kit, I did so for a number of reasons. There were a number of questions I had in my own mind...

What is a reasonably sized portable PV Set-up? Is it even practical to design a mobile PV kit? How much would such a kit cost at current prices?

How many and exactly what kind of batteries would be required for such a system?

How much power could such a set-up yield, and what could you do with it?

How often would you need to resort to a grid-based battery charger or a portable generator to keep the batteries charged?

How easy would it be to monitor the system and keep the batteries properly topped off. Would I need to check them daily? Weekly? Hourly?

Some questions I forgot to ask, but would eventually answer:

How much storage space would it take to accommodate all the parts of this system?

How much would the system weigh?

All the handy calculators on the internet designed to help you estimate PV system size work the same way. They begin by getting you to estimate your daily power needs, and then help you figure out how many amp-hours of battery storage it might take to provide that amount of power. After that, you calculate how many panels you need to keep those batteries charged, based on how many sunny hours per day you expect to experience, and how many days of no sun you might need to plan for, based on your geographic location.

For a kit like the one I envisioned, I needed to work from the other direction. How many panels were practical to carry around? What kind of panels were available that met the criteria of being easily portable? Were they 12 Volt? 24 Volt?

I decided to buy 12 Volt 120 W folding panels, with light weight integral folding legs, made sort of like a card table. I first bought two of those, and then eventually decided I could add a third one, after I bought my charge controller, which I figured out would work well for up to about 400W in panels. (The folding panels I got from Solar Blvd were equipped with primitive charge controllers, but I chose to bypass those leaving them in place for back-up)

The cost for the panels was $190 each, or $570 for the 360W total.


(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTfVig42AuGGsvYLhZ4qaBxwQPYcZBNLO6UiNdzdecqBxp-Pru4)


I also learned, by reading about other people's adventures, that it takes about 400W in panels to keep a 12 Volt 225 Amp hr battery bank (made of two heavy duty 6V Golf Cart batteries from Sam's Club) charged, in an average sun environment. I bought the batteries from my local Sam's and paid $220. It would have been slightly less had I shlepped a couple of dead 12V batteries to the store to offset the "core charge", but I didn't.

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT11YAZeF55fa9VktSC8HXHyzyYmAEbznAn_OlECgmQ8jf51Qgu)


Why 6V g-cart batteries? Simply, they are the best bang for the buck. 12V deep cycle batteries are generally rated at about 50-60 amp hrs, cost about the same as the g-cart batteries. It would take four of them to give the same storage as 2 of the ones I got, and they would need to be wired in parallel, which is something to be avoided with batteries if you can. (Although many people do it anyway.) Gel batteries are nice, but cost much more than wet cell lead acid batteries. The only advantages are that they don't have the potential for leakage, and they don't have to be ventilated. For me, I didn't need to pay double to get those features.

I also learned that such a 400W system is not an uncommon size for RV's, and that I could buy the basic wiring harness, with various junction boxes, switches, circuit breakers, and the correct wiring, along with the Blue Sky charge controller I liked, and a matching battery monitor, from a  small Mom and Pop RV solar outfit called AM Solar.

I had already sourced the controller from Solar Blvd, but I bought the rest of the kit from AM. If I'd bought the complete the kit from AM Solar (They call these kits "system cores ". The appropriate one for my system was their Sunrunner(tm) Signature Series 25/6 PRO Core.) it would have cost $815, including the combiner box.

That price includes a lot of gear. An MPPT charge controller and matching battery monitor (expandable to grow the system if desired), a custom metal box for the charge controller designed to overcome some problems with wiring heavy wire to the CC., Two 30 ft lengths of #6AWG, a bridge shunt for wiring the battery monitor, a temp cable for the batteries and wiring for the battery monitor, and a combiner box with bus bars for paralleling the three panels into one circuit. Also included are all the tiny bits you'd have had to buy yourself after you figured out you needed them. AM kits are well thought out.

(http://www.amsolar.com/shop/images/2512ix-hv.png)

(http://www.amsolar.com/shop/images/IPNPRO.jpg)

(http://www.amsolar.com/shop/images/2512-Wall_Box.jpg)

(http://www.amsolar.com/shop/images/th_2512-6-pro-core.png)

(http://www.amsolar.com/shop/images/4:2_Roof_C-Box.jpg)

That kit basically got me wired from panels to charge controller to batteries. To get AC current, I needed additional battery cables, another fuse, and an inverter. I chose the Morningstar 300W Sure-sine for its durability, simplicity, low cost and small size. I paid about $200. The #2 AWG battery cables I needed (six short ones with lugs and heat shrink installed) cost me $108 from Don Rowe, a company that sells inverters and cables.

(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQgenKVdRve-8pK-XeXjxiS-tEnailTnLWYvsahcU-410OC7LDeHw)


I had a big plastic mil-surp box in the garage that once held dental equipment of the Gulf War era. The batteries and the electronics, fuses, switches and other paraphernalia will mount inside the box, once I make some plywood bread boards to fit the lid and bottom of the box.

(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTqCZb_7Ei_93Gxo09kBNdo8wHgfL4fDXO9folm9OIRjSdDHu7FDw)

Total cost for the completed kit, which I hope to finish this week, will be less than $2000.

The biggest surprise? Weight. The panels weigh 30 pounds each, the batteries 64 pounds each. Inverter weighs 11 pounds. the entire kit should tip the scales at roughly 250 pounds! Yeah, a lot more than I would have thought.

From the beginning, the one major requirement I had for the system was that it should power refrigeration. I researched a variety of refrigerators, both 12V units and 120V AC. Nice 12V chest style units could be had that would be compatible, but they were about $750 minimum. EcoCool makes a nice midsize 12V fridge for about $1100 that is efficient enough to run off my little system....but I kept looking.

Just before Christmas I watched one of Lamar Alexander's videos in which he evaluated the 3.1 cubic ft. Edgestar. These are little 120V AC units the size of a large dorm fridge, with separate freezer and fridge. They can be had for under $250 bucks, and their Energy Star rating is 338kWh/yr. They draw maybe 75W for a few seconds when the compressor kicks on, and then only use about 30W continuous while the compressor runs, which is about 50% of the time, based on ambient temperature and how often you open the fridge.

I ordered an "open box special" for $129.95 from an online seller, CompactAppliance.com, and waited...and waited. Finally I checked back and saw my order had been cancelled. My guess is that they sold the unit before I clicked on it, or some such...maybe they never had it. They get some bad reviews for customer service. So before I ordered another one for the regular price of $232, I checked around some more.

I found two other brands of 3.1 size refrigerators that are even more efficient than the Edgestar. Avanti makes one. And Sears sells one under their Kenmore brand. Energy Star rating of 270kWh per year. That's the energy used by the interior light of most refrigerators...unbelievable. And I bought one at my local Sears on sale for $159.95. Score!

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ58eJTy_jXcOei0EAeAsoWOYs1MhHPcWSonVrgafKvyvHTR4495Q)


I have some 12V LED lights I picked up at Home Depot. I'm continuing to research lights.

When the kit is functional, sometime this week, I intend to experiment with running fridge, lights, laptop, phone charger, AA battery charger, etc., just to see how it all works out. I've answered a lot of the questions that came to me in the beginning, but I expect that I'll be learning a lot more very soon, and answering the rest of the questions on my list, and maybe some more I forgot to ask.

Oh yeah. How big is it? The whole shooting match will fit easily in the trunk of my car (not including the fridge), with room to spare.

(https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQzIQrBVIYnXBYaz3iHJleuHEBwCdQHSHKSQGedtuGjMnQmWaMEBw)
 And this system would be perfect to integrate into a bug-out van or small camping trailer.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Bug-out PV Kit Update
Post by: Eddie on January 12, 2014, 04:51:42 PM
RE, I posted this to SUN. Please review and turn on comments please. I still can't figure out how to toggle the comments on.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Bug-out PV Kit Update
Post by: RE on January 12, 2014, 07:33:33 PM
RE, I posted this to SUN. Please review and turn on comments please. I still can't figure out how to toggle the comments on.

I'll get tò it when  I get home.  I'm  out eating Mexican typing on my portable keyboard.    I just finished a Wàlmart trip, followed by Spòrtsman's Warehouse.
th
Walmart was out of stock on  the camera.  Maybe next week on that.

Preppers need to stay OUT of SW.  There was a fabulously expensive prèp I HAVE to have in every display case and on  every rack,  Small rechargeable flashlights that go 700 lumens!  $200.  Leica Spotting Scope, $3500.  The portable 12V Solar Powered Electric system they had is FANTASTIC!  I got a pic of it, will put up   later. Only $1999.  I may have to go back and buy.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Bug-out PV Kit Update
Post by: jdwheeler42 on January 12, 2014, 07:45:40 PM
Preppers need to stay OUT of SW.  There was a fabulously expensive prèp I HAVE to have in every display case and on  every rack,  Small rechargeable flashlights that go 700 lumens!  $200.  Leica Spotting Scope, $3500.  The portable 12V Solar Powered Electric system they had is FANTASTIC!  I got a pic of it, will put up   later. Only $1999.  I may have to go back and buy.
Back around Y2K I did a lot of shopping at The Sportsman's Guide (http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/Main.aspx?)... think Harbor Freight for Preppers....  :evil4:
Title: Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit
Post by: RE on January 12, 2014, 09:02:36 PM
While Eddie's 12V system looks pretty good, for Portable Power the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit (http://www.sportsmanswarehouse.com/sportsmans/Goal-Zero-Yeti-1250-Solar-Generator-Kit/productDetail/Generators-/prod999901361936/cat100893) is hard to beat.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-xfwcE1qwQng/UtNlT-E2UCI/AAAAAAAAAa0/bVZlwC7ysWM/w303-h539-no/14+-+1)

1250 Watts is enough juice to do just about anything you need to do.  You can even cook with that kind of juice.  Will run most power tools easily.  Great charging Station for rechargeable tools also.

One thing I also want to mention is the fact Eddie got his controllers out of an RV store.  All this stuff comes built into my Bugout Machine.  in addition it has a 3000 Watt on board generator and the fridge runs off either electricity or propane.  Also has a 100# Propane tank aboard.  only thing it did not come with was the PV panels.  I bought those later.

Eddie could have saved himself a lot of time by just buying a bugout machine and using that for his electric power source on the Toothstead.

RE
Title: Re: Overpriced and Underpowered Yeti 1250
Post by: Eddie on January 12, 2014, 09:29:57 PM
My system has 225 Amp hrs storage.

The Yeti has 100 Amp hrs.

My system has 360W of panels

The Yeti has 90W of panels.

So my system puts out 4 times the power of the Yeti in full sun, and has double the storage, for about the same price.

Do the math. Don't fall for marketing ploys. The Yeti is an expensive toy.

Their coolers are overpriced too.

Title: Re: Overpriced and Underpowered Yeti 1250
Post by: RE on January 12, 2014, 09:37:43 PM
My system has 225 Amp hrs storage.

The Yeti has 100 Amp hrs.

My system has 360W of panels

The Yeti has 90W of panels.

So my system puts out 4 times the power of the Yeti in full sun, and has double the storage, for about the same price.

Do the math. Don't fall for marketing ploys. The Yeti is an expensive toy.

Their coolers are overpriced too.

OK, you sold me.  :icon_sunny:

Now, we need to get it all into a nice Package and sell it at Sportsman's Warehouse.

It has to pack up small enough to fit easily onto somebody's 4-wheeler ATV.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Bug-out PV Kit Update
Post by: RE on January 12, 2014, 10:24:15 PM
RE, I posted this to SUN. Please review and turn on comments please. I still can't figure out how to toggle the comments on.

Turned on the comments, added a Feature Photo and fixed the Layout a bit.

Look up at the top of the WP Admin screen for the "Screen Options" link.  Click on that then check off the Discussion box, and a dialogue will appear on the Dashboard for turning on and off comments.

Snatch the Pebble from my Hand, Grasshopper.  :icon_mrgreen:

http://www.youtube.com/v/gASY7Lj5GPQ?feature=player_detailpage

RE
Title: Eddie Electrics for Everybody
Post by: RE on January 12, 2014, 11:50:45 PM
A thought experiment.

Say instead of maintaining all this infrastructure, we simply distributed out an Eddie Electric System for Everybody.  How much would this cost?

Let's say we need one system for every 4 people in the FSoA.  Current population, around 320M, so we need 80M of them.

Currently at retail in a small market running $2000 per setup, but with economies of scale here, this should drop by half at least.  So call it $1000 per setup.

So, for EVERY family in the FSoA to have Eddie Electrics, approximate cost is $80B.  CHUMP CHANGE!  This is less than it cost to bail out AIG, and that was just ONE TBTF Insurance Company!

Not to mention all the money saved every day on buying Electric Power off the grid, and all the Pollution stopped when the Coal plants are shut down.

Universal Free Electricity!  At least for as long as you can keep all the stuff working anyhow.

RE
Title: Plug n' Play Electric System
Post by: RE on January 13, 2014, 03:02:40 AM
First Product to bring to market!

An AFFORDABLE 12V Electric System in a Box.

Contents:

Box containing the voltage regulator, Inverter etc.  Terminals for hooking up Batteries and charging systems including PV Cells, Wind Turbines, Micro Hydro, Bike Generators.

To get your system running, all you need to do is wire the batteries to the box and wire the generating systems to the box.

The buyer can either supply his own batteries (automotive, marine, etc) or buy from a selection of other batteries we offer also.

Similarly, buyer can provide their own PV Cells or other generating mechanisms to hook to the setup.

System should handle up to say 3000 Watts Input/Output.

Whole thing should fit inside a Cooler size box on Wheels, less the Batteries and the Generating sources.

It should have Inputs for say 10 different generators, and Outputs in 120V AC, 12V DC and 5V USB.

How much will it cost Eddie?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- 12Volts in a Box
Post by: Eddie on January 13, 2014, 05:28:53 AM
A worthy project, but not necessarily a simple one, because you want to be able to input a number of different generating sources. The output is no problem.

I'd suggest that a system with one generating source should be the basic unit, because it's a lot cheaper, and most users aren't going to have a bunch of different inputs, at least not at first. The 25 amp MPPT charge controller on the Eddie Electric is designed to link to up to maybe 6 others, and they all can use the same battery monitor, so it would be a good basic building block. You would generally speaking, add a charge controller for each new input. All other components would remain the same, I think. You'd just need to design the box with room to add these components, which are about the size of a duplex electrical outlet box.

A question I have (still thinking about it) is whether it would be wise to bump up to a bigger charge controller for the base unit. This would allow you to input 24 volts. 24 volt panels are lower cost per watt power, but  they produce more amps, requiring a higher capacity charge controller (if you get input of more than 400W, anyway).

If you accept the parameters of each input being under 400W total, then the cost of building the basic one horse box would be something on the order of $1000 to $1200, I think. Each additional input generating source would add a cost of $200 to $250 or so.

I made certain decisions that added cost to the Eddie Electric. It is made with top quality components. It has a real battery monitor, and not just idiot lights. It has MPPT tech, not the cheaper PWM. It uses long life batteries that should last 7 years, minimum if properly fed and put to bed. It uses 12 Volt panels, which sell at a premium over 24V, but maximize safety.

I think a nice project would be to design a system about twice the storage of the Eddie E. using 24V panels that don't fold. This might be about the same cost, just not portable. This is well up into the capacity for "normal" living in an off-grid cabin.

The problem with the Yeti is that it really won't do what they say it does. They oversell it completely in their ads. In a real test , the battery would die, because you'd have to be constantly over-discharging it to get the kind of performance they advertise. The "1250" is a lie, a number dreamed up by marketing, not engineering. At 90W input, it should rightfully be called the Yeti 90.

You actually couldn't half the price of these units using economies of scale. There isn't that much fat to cut. I think the basic box would need to cost retail about what the Yeti costs. The difference is that it's the basic block to build a real system designed for daily, ongoing use, vs. an extremely low functioning turnkey system with cheap components that has been marked up 100% or a little more.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on January 13, 2014, 05:54:39 AM
The Yeti includes the Batteries and 2 Solar PV Panels.

What I am talking about includes no inputs or storage media, it is just the MANAGER.
 
Perhaps it needs a Smart Controller/Microprocessor that make decisions on input.

The KEY here is it should be Turn Key, like plugging up accessories to your laptop with USB.  In the old days, every peripheral you added took loading up drivers, accessing the right ports on the computer, etc.  It was a PAIN IN THE ASS.  Now, you plug in anything new you buy, and most of the time it works right off the bat, no noodling required.

The system should be Idiot Proof, and allow the buyer to just wire up a battery or a solar pv array he has to it and it WORKS!

MOST people are not Eddies.  You gotta make it simple here to do.

RE
Title: Re: Eddie Electrics for Everybody
Post by: DoomerSupport on January 13, 2014, 10:12:48 AM
A thought experiment.

Say instead of maintaining all this infrastructure, we simply distributed out an Eddie Electric System for Everybody.  How much would this cost?

Let's say we need one system for every 4 people in the FSoA.  Current population, around 320M, so we need 80M of them.

Currently at retail in a small market running $2000 per setup, but with economies of scale here, this should drop by half at least.  So call it $1000 per setup.

So, for EVERY family in the FSoA to have Eddie Electrics, approximate cost is $80B.  CHUMP CHANGE!  This is less than it cost to bail out AIG, and that was just ONE TBTF Insurance Company!

Not to mention all the money saved every day on buying Electric Power off the grid, and all the Pollution stopped when the Coal plants are shut down.

Universal Free Electricity!  At least for as long as you can keep all the stuff working anyhow.

RE

How does this idea make the rentier class richer? 


Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on January 13, 2014, 10:28:15 AM
Workers of the world, disperse.....and take your electricity with you!
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Surly1 on January 13, 2014, 10:33:29 AM
Workers of the world, disperse.....and take your electricity with you!

By the way, I didn't have a chance to comment earlier, but the work you did assembling this system is really remarkable and bears careful reading. Thanks a lot.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: agelbert on January 13, 2014, 11:51:06 AM
Eddie said,
Quote
Workers of the world, disperse.....and take your electricity with you!
(http://www.nhclc.org/files/nhclc/u38/fl-church-translators-20120622-001.jpg)


(http://www.pic4ever.com/images/47b20s0.gif)(http://www.desismileys.com/smileys/desismileys_0293.gif)

Title: Re: Eddie Electrics for Everybody
Post by: RE on January 13, 2014, 05:01:48 PM
A thought experiment.

Say instead of maintaining all this infrastructure, we simply distributed out an Eddie Electric System for Everybody.  How much would this cost?

Let's say we need one system for every 4 people in the FSoA.  Current population, around 320M, so we need 80M of them.

Currently at retail in a small market running $2000 per setup, but with economies of scale here, this should drop by half at least.  So call it $1000 per setup.

So, for EVERY family in the FSoA to have Eddie Electrics, approximate cost is $80B.  CHUMP CHANGE!  This is less than it cost to bail out AIG, and that was just ONE TBTF Insurance Company!

Not to mention all the money saved every day on buying Electric Power off the grid, and all the Pollution stopped when the Coal plants are shut down.

Universal Free Electricity!  At least for as long as you can keep all the stuff working anyhow.

RE

How does this idea make the rentier class richer?

What Rentier Class?  (http://www.sherv.net/cm/emoticons/fighting/guillotine-smiley-emoticon.gif)

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on January 14, 2014, 04:19:31 PM
Thats right, I basically understand it but wouldnt dream of building it myself. Leave it to an electrician. You dont need what Ive got unless you want to run a big screen tv and washmachine etc all day. I wouldnt do it again its a waste of money. 2 truck batteries 500w of panels, a propellor/alternator on a pole and a 500w inverter is all you need, about 1000bucks.

eddie how do you use that big pippete tool to tell you if you need battery water, what do the red white green mean? why dont you just look at the top and see theres enough there like in a car?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on January 14, 2014, 05:14:59 PM
The pipette device is a hydrometer. I doesn't tell you when to add water. What it does do is give you a crude way to check charge level. It works by measuring the specific gravity of the battery electrolyte. Fully charged the electrolyte is about 61%water by weight. When completely discharged it's 85% water.

All the balls rise to the top of the column, battery fully charged. If only two balls rise, half charged. No balls rise, battery discharged.

It's really useful for checking individual battery cells to see if you have one or more bad cells in a battery that seems to be functioning poorly.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead ---- Efficient Wood Stoves
Post by: Eddie on January 22, 2014, 11:09:47 AM
Notwithstanding the buzz about thermal mass rocket stoves and how good they work, I have yet to see one that didn't require a great deal of labor and time to build. The best ones are the ones that are an integral part of the house they exist within, a house designed specifically with interior thermal mass built in before the walls go up.

In his recent (last week) blog, JMG outlined seven useful technologies that:

 " can be sustained on a very limited resource base, produce goods or services of value even under dark age conditions, and could contribute mightily to the process of rebuilding if they get through the next five centuries or so."

Number three on the list was what he called "sustainable wood heating" and in addition to the practice of coppicing, as practiced by Jason Heppenstall on his woodlot in Cornwall, JMG mentioned:

"rocket stoves and other high-efficiency means of converting wood fuel into heat. "

I decided to begin to do a little research into the second part...the "other means".

So far I've run across this, which might be something worth trying, for those of us are looking for an alternative to rocket stoves:

(http://maderightstoves.com/uploads/3/3/7/6/3376166/2306145.jpg)

http://maderightstoves.com (http://maderightstoves.com)

Made in Montana by " 'mericans". Looks like a good design. Anybody ever see one in use? I'm curious.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: DoomerSupport on January 22, 2014, 11:51:09 AM
Not that particular brand, but I've stayed in lodges with the same type, they're are very efficient, particularly when the blower is running.

 
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on January 22, 2014, 11:55:53 AM
These aren't blower driven, just passive air flow through aluminum fins.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on January 22, 2014, 11:59:54 AM
Biggest problem I see is if they overheat, the aluminum fins can melt. Aluminum melts at a fairly low temp, like about 1500 degrees, if my memory serves.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on January 22, 2014, 05:58:11 PM
My heater is similar, but cast iron, these been around forever, about 2K new. "Combustion heater/stove" takes a while to warm up, aluminium would start radiating heat a lot faster.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead ---- Efficient Wood Stoves
Post by: jdwheeler42 on January 23, 2014, 04:25:15 AM
Notwithstanding the buzz about thermal mass rocket stoves and how good they work, I have yet to see one that didn't require a great deal of labor and time to build.
Really? "For this project we use the core in a portable design. Something that can be taken apart in under an hour, loaded onto a truck, moved and rebuilt in under an hour." Sneaky Heat, http://stoves2.com (http://stoves2.com)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on January 23, 2014, 05:52:34 AM
Really? "For this project we use the core in a portable design. Something that can be taken apart in under an hour, loaded onto a truck, moved and rebuilt in under an hour." Sneaky Heat, http://stoves2.com (http://stoves2.com)

Thanks JD. Are those DVDs available for sale, or are they all on youtube? I really have to take one of their workshops.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on January 23, 2014, 07:20:41 PM
Sneaky Heat, http://stoves2.com (http://stoves2.com)

Thanks JD. Are those DVDs available for sale, or are they all on youtube? I really have to take one of their workshops.
The full videos are only available by buying them on the DVDs (or streaming).  Stoves2.com is the publisher's website, they are available on Amazon also.  The publisher, Paul Wheaton, and the stars, Erica and Ernie Wisner, do have a lot of material available on youtube, it probably is worthwhile googling their names plus rocket stoves and watching what videos come up before springing for the set.  The videos are the condensed versions of the workshops, they tried to cram as many of the details in as they could.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Big Badda Bag Bed
Post by: Eddie on January 25, 2014, 03:40:31 PM
I spent days building raised beds last year. This afternoon I hooked up the dump trailer, wheeled over to the local organic nursery, picked up 3 yards of garden mix and six of these 1/2 yd raised bed bags, drove home....a couple hours later I have six completed raised beds ready for planting potatoes tomorrow.

Sure, they're ugly, but I'll trim them with rocks...AFTER the potatoes are planted, at my leisure.


(http://www.smartpots.com/Websites/smartpots/images/BagFilling.jpg)

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- More on Stove Tech
Post by: Eddie on January 28, 2014, 05:28:55 PM
Intent on learning more about options for heating, I spent some time today researching thermal mass rocket stoves. I was wondering if there's a good commercial product, since most of them are hand made. I found this:

(http://thumbs2.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mcI2L40LAH153sWwqf3zZeA.jpg)

It's made in Ireland by Leyland Stoves.  They sell on eBay.  http://www.leylandstoves.co.uk/ (http://www.leylandstoves.co.uk/)

I also found this:

(http://www.zaugstoves.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Altaire-3-189x300.jpg)

From Zaug Stoves.   http://www.zaugstoves.com/wordpress/ (http://www.zaugstoves.com/wordpress/)

You can also buy high quality pre-fab J-tubes and other components:

(http://www.dragonheaters.com/product_images/uploaded_images/all-3-shippingweb.jpg)

These feature custom cast refractory pieces that are said to be better than home built. Pricey, but appear to be state-of-the-art. Just add cob. From Dragon Heaters.  http://www.dragonheaters.com/ (http://www.dragonheaters.com/)



In the DIY Dept. I was very impressed by these videos:

http://www.youtube.com/v/7ANMXGrxgnE&fs=1

http://www.youtube.com/v/AqvTdbRSlwk&fs=1

I think I'm going to try to build a cast refractory core. Next project after the Bug-Out PV Kit is finished (which I'd do tonight if it weren't so damn cold. About an hour left to complete that one)

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead ---- Goals for 2014
Post by: Eddie on January 29, 2014, 08:18:07 AM
A couple of weeks ago JMG posted an article talking about seven sustainable technologies that he sees as needing to be preserved as we slide down the energy hill. I'm sure most of you read it, but I'll link it.

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2014/01/seven-sustainable-technologies.html (http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2014/01/seven-sustainable-technologies.html)

Of these, the first three concern me most, although I'm in agreement that the others are important. They are:

1. Organic Intensive Gardening

2. Solar Thermal Technologies

3. Sustainable Wood Heating

The fourth technology, sustainable healthcare, concerns me a lot too, since that's my day job. Because it is my life work, it's always  consumed a good bit of my time and planning. These days, my main goals in that area are concerned with cross-training in medical and emergency training. One of my goals for this year is to do some training in that department, but the dates for the courses I want to take aren't favorable, so it might need to be put off for one more year. But it's on the list. It took me over two years to find time to get my PDC, but I finally did that one.

The fifth, sixth, and seventh technologies ( letterpress printing, radio communication, and computer-free math) are further down the list, although I was on the verge of getting my HAM radio license about a year ago and lost momentum at the last minute. I know I could pass that test with a week of study, and I have the manuals. Maybe I could knock that one out soon and get some kind of radio. I won't be building the kind of tube set JMG likes...maybe someday.

Number one is something Ive been working on for a couple of years now. Food gardening is much harder here than many places, and it takes time to get good at it. That's my take, and most of the local gardeners I know agree. Still people do get good at it, and raise lots of decent annual veggies...and there is a move toward food foresting and other more sustainable ways of raising food.

Aquaponics is suddenly very big here, with a local store and a couple of people (maybe more) putting on classes and even selling turnkey systems for thousands of dollars. One of my goals for this year is to work toward getting my hoop house greenhouse at the 'stead in shape to contain some kind of aquaponics set-up. Integral to that dream, which is only a dream at this point, would be living in permanent residence at the 'stead. I learned some time back from bitter experience that our blistering summers leave no room for mistakes, and that any energy/water intensive techniques for growing anything here have to be closely monitored to prevent plant and animal death caused by neglect on the part of yours truly, the well-meaning dilettante.

So my goal is to do some more and different farming on a small scale, with an eye toward growing larger if I'm successful. This year that might just mean taking a class, and starting to acquire the gear.

Not mentioned directly by JMG, but falling under the broad umbrella of gardening, is trying to work on building water retention and food foresting on the 'stead. The biggest problem I see there is figuring out what species to plant that will grow here and actually give the kind of returns that permie farmers like Mark Sheperd are getting elsewhere. But it will take the rest of my lifetime to get the 'stead fully permed. That's my longest term project of all. I will take some steps this year though. Baby steps, but steps nonetheless.

JMG talks about solar thermal tech, because he rightfully assumes that solar PV is not likely to persist in the future in any kind of easily implementable, affordable fashion. PV panelss are made out of silicon chips, and who knows if we'll have any chip foundries in a hundred years. I'm interested in small scale solar thermal tech, solar steam engines and the like, but at the moment I'm into using my fossil fuel dividend to buy and set-up wind and solar PV, which will be really nice to have while it lasts, which will probably be until well after I'm dead, after all.

I now have my portable 360W PV set-up 99% complete, just needing to mount a few key components and connect the batteries. Longer term I continue to shop for charge controllers and inverters and wire (expensive item, actually) to build out a big array. I have over 4500 watts in panels in storage awaiting eventual installation on the 'stead, which will someday provide most of the power for a new house I am still dreaming.

But solar thermal hot water heating (which has fallen out of favor with PV's so cheap) is a no-brainer. I missed an opportunity to buy a bunch of flat plate collectors recently, but I am currently keeping my eyes open for some more, which I intend to use to heat water for the house at the 'stead...and to provide some heat for a big soaking tub. Life isn't just farming. I see used flat plate collectors for sale from time to time for good prices. This year I'm going to buy some.

I'm also about to start work on the solar shower I designed a few months back. I have all the plumbing, lumber, black barrels and even the screws to build that one. Just need a weekend or two of concentrated work. At the moment I'm working on the cabin deck, which was partially built when I bought the place. Last weekend I took a break from that to plant potatoes back in town in the backyard, but this weekend I'm back on that one. I also have other maintenance to do on the cabin this spring in preparation for the arrival of the SUNsteaders (sorry, I just can't go for that term "heliopath". Sounds like a solar chiropractor or something to me.)

I posted something on this thread (on Doomstead Diner) yesterday about thermal mass rocket stove tech, which I am studying, at the moment primarily by watching youtube videos on the subject, of which there are many. An easy project I'm adding to my to-do list is the casting of an insulated refractory core, which I will use to build an RMH (shorthand for rocket mass heater, as these are sometimes called). This, I have decided is the safest wood heater to put in the cabin at the 'stead. I'm worried about fire hazard there because of all the dead leaves that fall on and around the cabin. The exhaust from a properly constructed RMH is not even hot, a great feature for a cabin that started out as a double-wide trailer.

So there's my year in advance. Time to go to work.


Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on January 29, 2014, 09:12:03 AM
RE

Published this to the SUN site. Please review and edit at your leisure. thanks.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- More on Stove Tech
Post by: jdwheeler42 on January 29, 2014, 11:40:35 AM
Intent on learning more about options for heating, I spent some time today researching thermal mass rocket stoves. I was wondering if there's a good commercial product, since most of them are hand made. I found this:
Excellent sleuthing.... it's a good hybrid product.  The "mass part" is pretty large, heavy, simple, and not demanding, so it's ideal for construction by amateurs.  The core however can be relatively small and light, and while not extremely complicated, the relative dimensions are fairly exacting to get the proper plasma flows, so it is an excellent candidate for commercial production.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Prepper Opportunist
Post by: Eddie on February 03, 2014, 09:34:55 AM
When the markets collapse, the prices of many things that aren't food will likely go down, as demand destruction takes a toll. Even petroleum is likely to fall in price temporarily, at least, or so I'm led to believe.

Which begs the question: Is there any real benefit in trying to store fuel?

 I'm not talking about heating oil, which I don't need, but rather some diesel to run the tractors for a while (I don't use them much, but they're nice to have when you need one, which I do occasionally).

Farmers in this part of the country used to store diesel, but the practice has stopped for the most part, because theft became common on ranches, which are often not very secure,

Tanks are for sale fairly cheap these days as a result. The question is (a) would stockpiling a little fuel be a good idea (or would it likely just get stolen), and (b) assuming I could stash an extra few hundred gallons of diesel, or gas, how long would it be before it went bad anyway?

I know about Stabil, the stuff you use to preserve fuel. I used to use it in the boats. But with alcohol in the gas, it still doesn't store that well...and with diesel, it seems like overkill to buy it in quantity, since I probably don't use 50 gallons a year anyway.

But, in a more general sense, it does make sense to me to delay buying some items until...well, you know. The dollar, for the short term, is probably going to be king again. There will be a window of opportunity.

And if for any reason you need say, a new car or a pick-up, there may be a brief window to get one for almost no borrowing cost (and also at a fairly decent price) just about the time everyone (everyone left with any equities, anyway) is losing their ass in the financial markets. Not that anyone here would ever go into debt to buy a car, of course.  ;D

Or durable goods of any kind...PV panels come to mind. I'm making a list and standing by.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 11, 2014, 07:50:10 AM
I spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon out at the 'stead, working on the deck. The framing is finished and I was all set to lay the deck planks yesterday, since I had early patients at the hospital and was out by noon. But the weather turned cold. After two glorious winter days in the sixties, it was in the high thirties when I got off work, and I just decided not to spend the afternoon working in the cold.

It looks like Friday will be nice, and I get off early then, so I still think I can complete it this next weekend, other than putting up the railing. I still can't decide if i even want one, but the deck is about four feet off the ground at one end, so maybe I should.

My  next job involves re-flooring the bathroom, which is the first thing to go in an old trailer. While I'm at it, I'm going to replace the floor in an adjacent bedroom. I know it will be a dirty, nasty job. Not looking forward to it. My goal is to finish that, and maybe fix a couple of cracked windows before the SUN convocation. That, and a couple of loads of trash to the dump will probably be how far I get.  Only two months worth of weekends left.

The dogs cornered a young raccoon in a cedar thicket Saturday, and before I could get to where they were, the beloved's fox terrier had dealt it a mortal injury. I had to pick the dog up bodily to make her stop, and put her in the trailer. I didn't have a gun to put the poor coon out of its misery, so I took the axe over to do the deed...but he was still fighting, and I decided to just let him die on his own terms. I came back later and saw that he had crawled a few feet away and  into a 'dillo hole and died. I found a big rock and entombed him to keep the dogs away.

People in the modern world lose sight of the fact that death is an everyday occurrence in the natural world. Fox terriers are natural born killers. Still, I wish I'd gotten to them sooner.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Prepper Opportunist
Post by: roamer on February 11, 2014, 07:40:05 PM
When the markets collapse, the prices of many things that aren't food will likely go down, as demand destruction takes a toll. Even petroleum is likely to fall in price temporarily, at least, or so I'm led to believe.

Which begs the question: Is there any real benefit in trying to store fuel?


See my thread about bunkered coal? Its the cheapest fuel by orders of magnitude (30x cheaper than diesel) and is the only storable fuel source. If you really want energy security its is one way to do it.  You could run your cars, tractors and home generators on updraft gasifiers.  That would be simple, secure, but also dirty.  Though if its a hedge against total collapse you are after would you really care if you blew some soot across your neighbours yard?

Your last post about imminence of death out on the land is quite true.  I don't think we as a society or civilization are doing ourselves any favors by trying to push away this fact of life.  All our systems have become lineari, standardized, increasingly complex, and increasingly brittle all in an attempt to avoid the cyclical patterns and diversity of natural energy flows which entail periods of shortages and death.  I think all we have done is postpone the inevitable, we thought we were fighting off the thermodynamic laws with technology but failed to understand as a whole that we were just suspending them with massive but temporary flows of ancient stored energy.  I was in some ways lucky to grow up in first the montains of montana and then on a rural dairy farm.  I saw death in natural setting younger and more frequently than most of my peers.  I realize the more time goes how much my thinking about the world is a reflection of the many hours i spent exploring the woods and seeing what nature did.  Its part of why i'll never have much faith in civilization and society, i know it to be to far from the natural orders and balance of things.  I am just hopeful that we can transition down somewhat smoothly.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 12, 2014, 08:36:33 AM
Coal? I guess there might come a time I'd be glad i had some...but around here, it'd be difficult sourcing any, as far as I know. And I lack the knowledge to convert it to gas. I should study that area more.

My ignorant, knee-jerk reaction is that I might be just as well off to use biomass. I seem to have a never-ending supply. It falls off the trees faster than i can keep up with picking it up.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Update on the Bugout PV Kit
Post by: Eddie on February 18, 2014, 09:00:32 AM
It's been a while since I updated my progress on the portable solar PV set-up.  The bottom line is that it's almost completed, but I ran into one last problem that has to be dealt with. A couple of the expensive battery cables I had custom fabricated have terminals that are too big to connect to my Morningstar 300W Pure-Sine inverter.

Regular battery cables for a car are size #2AWG. I chose this size for all my wiring runs between the charge controller and the batteries and the batteries and the inverter...but the 300 W inverter has terminals designed to accept a smaller size. The max is probably intended to be #6AWG, which is actually two sizes smaller than what I had made.

The bigger wire size is actually better, and I've decided to just grind the pin lug terminals down to fit. I just hate to grind on them, but it's the lesser of the evils and shouldn't be a problem if I'm careful. I just haven't done it because I need a grinding wheel to get it done, and the only one I have currently is at the lake, where I've been using it to sharpen the lawnmower blade. And  I need a good vise, with soft jaws. Sounds like another trip to Harbor Freight.

The set-up is, however, looking like one of my better efforts. I managed to mount all the components in my big box with the batteries, which has a vent to let any hydrogen escape. All the other connections have been soldered and things like terminals and heat shrink carefully applied with good results. In use, I'll just flip open the box, unroll the  wiring, plug in the panels and orient them..and bingo.

The weight of all the components, a little over 250 pounds, has me thinking I'll get a utility wagon with wheels like this one to move it around when unloaded from my vehicle.

(http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/145/7d/7dbbed7d-2661-45a3-9de2-1b186210feb5_145.jpg)




Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: DoomerSupport on February 18, 2014, 09:40:02 AM
Excellent. 

What model inverter are you using, and what type?

I've been thinking of a Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) controller, based on a few sites.  I know morningstar produce them.

I rescued eight 100AH deep cycle batteries last week, only a few years old and were the backup power systems for phone switches in offices we closed down.  Never dropped below 95% capacity in the entire time they were deployed, so should be pretty good condition.

They'll be running the aquaponics pump and thermal solar water pump, if capacity allows, also providing light to the pool house.   
 
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 18, 2014, 10:03:17 AM
haniel

For this application I chose the Morningstar 300W Pure Sine Wave inverter. It doesn't put out a lot of AC current, but it's well matched to my system size overall, and it doesn't need a cooling fan, which hopefully makes it last longer.

My friends who live off-grid in AZ recommend using a small inverter for each AC load instead of one huge inverter. That way, if it breaks you still have some AC power instead of none.

The best deal on inverters I've found is this one. It's a Xantrex 1000W. Very nice for the price. I bought one of these too, but i haven't used it yet. it gets good reviews. I would advise against getting inverters from Harbor Freight.

http://www.donrowe.com/Xantrex-806-1210-PROwatt-SW-1000-p/806-1210.htm (http://www.donrowe.com/Xantrex-806-1210-PROwatt-SW-1000-p/806-1210.htm)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 18, 2014, 10:08:01 AM
Since the price has come down so much on pure sine wave inverters, I can't see messing around with modified sine wave.

Some of the cheaper MSW ones also have big ghost loads and cheap fans that crap out. I would always buy a major brand.

I am using a Blue Sky MPPT charge controller with a matched battery monitor. A battery monitor is important for any system of more than a few watts. I will try to post some pics. I wrote an article on SUN (Photovoltaics for Nomadic Applications) that gives some more details of my portable system.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- It Gets Boring
Post by: Eddie on February 24, 2014, 06:19:16 AM
For weeks now, I've spent my weekend afternoons at the 'stead, just working on the big outside deck. It was  about half completed when I bought the place nearly four years ago now, and although the lumber  has been there all along, it was a project I never found time to complete until recently.

Working alone, I finished framing it up several weeks back. As usual, I was overly optimistic about how quickly I could finish it. It took me one weekend just to cut off the planks and lay them out. I thought maybe I could get the deck screwed down in one more weekend. I was in luck this last weekend, because Jazz Singer Daughter's boyfriend, The World's Hardest Working Bass Player, decided to offer his help, which I graciously accepted.

Working together, through most of Saturday and Sunday afternoon, we still didn't quite finish. But the end is in sight now. I actually spent most of the time cutting and notching the outside edge trim boards that had to fit around the railing posts, while the BF wrestled with the warped decking planks and screwed them into their final destinations.

What's left? I have to build the railing and screw down maybe the last 100 square feet of planks.

I'm proud of the way it's turning out. Even the dogs seem to finally get what we're doing, wandering out on to the deck and checking out the view, the way I used to when I watched my father build something as a small child. Not understanding what it was at first, but then having a revelation at some point when I could mentally connect the dots.

And the BF has now been drawn in to the work, which gives him an excuse to take a break from his endless practice and music writing, which tends to consume him. He is already talking about helping me again next weekend. I know he's itching to see the last board laid down and the last screw fastened,  just like I am.  And I am grateful, not only for the help, which doubled the amount I would have gotten done, but also for the company. Doomsteading has turned into a solitary pursuit for me lately.

I've run into a situation with my beloved partner that looks like it's going to be a real challenge. She has decided that the best way to deal with collapse is to ignore it and Think Positive Thoughts. As the convocation gets closer, she is going to some length to avoid participating, even as a spectator. She might actually decide to take a trip of some kind when my friends from the Diner drop in in April.

Although I try to get her to come out to the 'stead, which is very nice right now, she refuses. At the bottom of it is a really strong emotional attachment to BAU, and especially to the McMansion in the burbs. Although she surely knows on an intellectual level that The House, with its canyon view, is not the ultimate destination for our later years, she is digging in her heels. The country place, which she never wanted me to buy in the first place, has become a burr under her saddle, and a source of negative emotion.

My own push to fix up the cabin is not to turn it into a permanent dwelling for us, but rather to establish a comfortable place to spend the  night as I work toward the eventual goal of building some kind of passively cooled house, and set up my food systems. Every step that takes me closer to that seems to widen the divide between us. I am in a quandary about how to engage her.

It really isn't that important that she participate in the convocation, but her attitude is a bitter disappointment to me. My expectation was and is that she should at least be accepting and gracious to my friends, as I certainly have been to hers over the last many years. We have been down many roads together, and together is the way I want to continue. We are so much a part of each other, and we have worked together and played together for so many years now that I cannot for one moment envision life without not just her presence, but her complete involvement at every level.

They say that a prophet is never appreciated in his own land. It may be that he is even less appreciated in his own house, especially when he does or says things that threaten a comfortable status quo. I feel like this is something that we'll work through, the way we've worked through a hundred other challenges, but I'm concerned about it.

Now I'm back at work on Monday morning. Working Saturdays and Sundays makes the weekend go by that much faster, and I'm wishing for an extra day off.






Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: luciddreams on February 24, 2014, 06:58:08 AM
I feel your pain doc.  I'm lucky that I have a wife that decided to open up her eyes and see the reality we're living in, the energy, climate change, food clusterfuck reality we find ourselves in.  But initially she was very resistant to it all.  I'd start talking and she'd just shut down, it's too depressing, but she really wasn't even contemplating the stuff I was communicating about our world.  Eventually she decided to just believe that my analysis was most likely correct, but that it was too depressing, and she had a business to run and friends to stay normal for, and so she left the preps to me, and she left the worry to me, until I got on fukitol and couldn't shit for three weeks. 

When the fukitol didn't work, we realized that my career wasn't going to work, and we had to find a way out.  So I dedicated myself to permaculture as the answer to all of our problems, which it mostly has delivered on all accounts.  I'm actually making money at permaculture, which is no easy task.  The next job will pay 25 per hour and the total cost is around 12 grand to complete the install as of now.  I kind of got off track here talking about permaculture.

So GM accepted PO and our food clusterfuck as reality several years ago.  Even then, it wasn't until a few months ago that she actually got depressed about all of these collapse issues.  It finally all sunk in and was a bit overwhelming for her.  Luckily I've been through the psychological collapse gauntlet, and I've figured out things to do that are meaningful.  That is, the most meaningful actions to take for me and my family. 

I just asked her if she could explain what happened to get her where she is now with collapse.  She has a hard time putting it into words and to a certain extent doesn't even know herself.  She started talking about the pioneers, and the natives, and how kids learn on ipads in school and are going to likely forget how to hand write because there's no need for it now really.  Hand writing is becoming obsolete.  She talked about all the stuff that the American Dream pays us in, or is supposed to.  Then she said that George Carlin really helped open her eyes to the reality of how pointless our consumer lifestyles are.  She pointed out how reliant we are on China and how nothing is made here much anymore.  So I think it's just that she's been able to see the futility of the American dream.  Seeing that has allowed her to see why it's futile, and to seek a different way to be.  She also mentioned that nobody cares about nature any longer, and she cares very much about it. 

I don't know your wife Eddie, I know nothing about her really.  But my guess is that she's very comfortable with the lifestyle ya'll live.  Obviously she likes the McMansion and doesn't want to contemplate living a different way. 

To be honest with you Eddie, I think the fact that I'm Aspergian may have something to do with her waking up.  Here's why.  From about 2007 (after reading TLE and getting my PO/Suburban sprawl is fucked education) I hyperfocused on all of the issues surrounding those realizations.  I read a lot of books.  It's all I talked about.  So if she wanted to have a conversation with me, it was likely going to be about all of those issues because it's all I was reading, thinking, and writing about.  I hyperfocused on it all and so she got pulled in cause she wanted to make our marriage work.  I'm very passionate about these things when I talk, I get animated, raise my voice, get angry, and make people uncomfortable. 

GM has always been on the fringe of mainstream.  Never really fit in anywhere.  So a counterculture, fringe, marginal perspective outside of the American Dream wasn't that far away from where she already was.  For her, the consumer American Dream lifestyle she tried to live when she had her photography business was more of an experiment that got out of control.  We bought that house and opened her business because that's what we were supposed to do.  That's what the Matrix programming labors to create. 

I really don't have any advice for you Eddie.  I just feel your pain and am relating.  And I'm hopeful that at least some of this helps.  But I know sometimes you just need to be heard.  Sometimes just saying it so that other people hear it helps. 
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 24, 2014, 07:54:40 AM
Thanks, LD. It's one reason why I've put off skyping for so long. I thought sure she'd come around, and be looking forward to me having a few guests. But as the day approaches, I can see that she doesn't want to be involved. It has nothing to do with anyone on a personal level. She's just decided to bow up on me, and I'll have to give her some time to come around.

I wouldn't normally bring up something personal like this, but in the interest of full disclosure to everyone coming, I wanted to get it out in the open.

But, number one, it is not something that even begins to threaten our relationship, which is completely solid. But I am afraid it could turn out to be one of those situations where an aging couple finds that they no longer share all the same needs and wants. My beloved is a fantastic partner in almost every way. I depend on her, and she carries her share of the load and more. I 'd be lost if anything ever happened to her. We will surely persevere.

And number two, it doesn't affect the convocation plans, or change anything about our arrangements at all.

And thanks for lending an ear.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: WHD on February 24, 2014, 08:27:02 AM
Quote
I've run into a situation with my beloved partner that looks like it's going to be a real challenge. She has decided that the best way to deal with collapse is to ignore it and Think Positive Thoughts. As the convocation gets closer, she is going to some length to avoid participating, even as a spectator. She might actually decide to take a trip of some kind when my friends from the Diner drop in in April.

Although I try to get her to come out to the 'stead, which is very nice right now, she refuses. At the bottom of it is a really strong emotional attachment to BAU, and especially to the McMansion in the burbs. Although she surely knows on an intellectual level that The House, with its canyon view, is not the ultimate destination for our later years, she is digging in her heels. The country place, which she never wanted me to buy in the first place, has become a burr under her saddle, and a source of negative emotion.

My own push to fix up the cabin is not to turn it into a permanent dwelling for us, but rather to establish a comfortable place to spend the  night as I work toward the eventual goal of building some kind of passively cooled house, and set up my food systems. Every step that takes me closer to that seems to widen the divide between us. I am in a quandary about how to engage her.

It really isn't that important that she participate in the convocation, but her attitude is a bitter disappointment to me. My expectation was and is that she should at least be accepting and gracious to my friends, as I certainly have been to hers over the last many years. We have been down many roads together, and together is the way I want to continue. We are so much a part of each other, and we have worked together and played together for so many years now that I cannot for one moment envision life without not just her presence, but her complete involvement at every level.

They say that a prophet is never appreciated in his own land. It may be that he is even less appreciated in his own house, especially when he does or says things that threaten a comfortable status quo. I feel like this is something that we'll work through, the way we've worked through a hundred other challenges, but I'm concerned about it.

Does she know how you feel? Can you tell her what you have told us?

It is not surprising, she should be like most people, clinging harder to what they know, in the face of increasing turmoil globally - esp women. If she's as solid as you say, and it's true that women generally cherish security above all (but connection), the 'stead may come to look more like security to her, depending on how things go; and connection. Or not. If BAU holds together another few decades. Then it will be left to your kids, your grandkids. Sorry to hear, she doesn't want to participate in the convocation. That suggests to me, she is not so certain about her own convictions, that she would avoid having them called into question, even avoiding connection, in the hope of a continued sense of "security."

What they say about the prophet is the same thing they said about the shaman, in his hut at the edge of the village. Everyone kept their distance - until a crisis. Then everybody wants to know what the shaman knows.

WHD
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: monsta666 on February 24, 2014, 08:28:40 AM
The big question I would ask is what if you are right and things begin to pan out the way you describe? Will her attitude towards the stead and your general preparations be praised rather than avoided? It is easy to put your head in the sand now when things appear to be doing okay and the media is practically shouting that everything is fine but sooner or later the truth will become apparent and avoiding the truth will become more difficult. I think when that time comes your preparation - even if were ultimately unsuccessful - will be appreciated because you tried to do the best thing for your family and were looking out for their best interests even when they did not actively ask for it.

I do feel for you and it is hard to break the news to people and quite often they have to find your own way. It does seem to me that this realisation of certain big truths does bring about a depressive state followed by a grieving process. I know one of my friends suffered from depression in the past and one of the things they mentioned is even if they could understand the logic and words of the advice given they could not realise the gravity of the words until they personally experienced the event. Sometimes it is only through experience that we can step out of our bubble/denial phase and actually acknowledge the issues confronting us. I am paraphrasing here as they did not say it in those exact words.

The other important addition and was another thing they brought up is the depression largely stems from the having a fundamentally different image of the world in your head that conflicts with reality. It is that conflict, where the real world is worse than your perceived world that creates the tension and subsequent depression. Once you can let go of these naive notions of what you think the world should be like and accept the world for what it is you can get over the depression. Now this is only the words of one friend who talked about their depression experiences but I believe their is enough merit to make it relevant to this discuss.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: luciddreams on February 24, 2014, 08:32:03 AM


What they say about the prophet is the same thing they said about the shaman, in his hut at the edge of the village. Everyone kept their distance - until a crisis. Then everybody wants to know what the shaman knows.

WHD

As an aside here, my next client, in Black Mountain NC, for the ecological design business is a female shaman.  This is going to be an interesting job :emthup:
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: WHD on February 24, 2014, 08:35:06 AM


What they say about the prophet is the same thing they said about the shaman, in his hut at the edge of the village. Everyone kept their distance - until a crisis. Then everybody wants to know what the shaman knows.

WHD

As an aside here, my next client, in Black Mountain NC, for the ecological design business is a female shaman.  This is going to be an interesting job :emthup:

Quite eager to hear more about it.  :icon_mrgreen: :icon_sunny:

WHD
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 24, 2014, 08:38:35 AM
Does she know how you feel? Can you tell her what you have told us?

Oh, yeah. At this point she's clear on how I feel and what I'm doing. I'm afraid there is some magical thinking going on in her head. Like if she just visualizes a perfect life, then that's the life she'll get. She is very much a believer in all that "The Secret" stuff, and creative visualization. Which is of course very powerful. It is...but I don't think you can wish away energy decline.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 24, 2014, 08:47:15 AM
The big question I would ask is what if you are right and things begin to pan out the way you describe? Will her attitude towards the stead and your general preparations be praised rather than avoided?

I'm hoping the answer is yes. I think a nice dwelling out there would also do much to heal this rift. Whether it's a dome (she likes domes, LOL) or some other green structure, if it is beautiful and comfortable, it will attract her.

And actually getting some functional systems in place. The greenhouse has to become more of a priority too.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: WHD on February 24, 2014, 08:54:23 AM
Does she know how you feel? Can you tell her what you have told us?

Oh, yeah. At this point she's clear on how I feel and what I'm doing. I'm afraid there is some magical thinking going on in her head. Like if she just visualizes a perfect life, then that's the life she'll get. She is very much a believer in all that "The Secret" stuff, and creative visualization. Which is of course very powerful. It is...but I don't think you can wish away energy decline.

I suppose such thinking is dependent on seeing the predations on the middle and working class as a failure of the prey to think positively. Which is akin to the Right in this country thinking the poor are poor because they are all stupid and lazy, which I presume is an idea repulsive to your partner. Best of luck. That could be hard for her, if all our circumstances are reduced. Here's hoping she can go on thinking the way she does, the rest of her days.

WHD
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Surly1 on February 24, 2014, 01:46:53 PM


What they say about the prophet is the same thing they said about the shaman, in his hut at the edge of the village. Everyone kept their distance - until a crisis. Then everybody wants to know what the shaman knows.

WHD

As an aside here, my next client, in Black Mountain NC, for the ecological design business is a female shaman.  This is going to be an interesting job :emthup:

And blogworthy, we would expect, yes?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on February 24, 2014, 03:06:30 PM
Since my computer  could not get any more compromised than it is already, with whichever DD admin is doing it, theres nothing to lose visiting and posting. If one of the honest ones like surly sees this first it will show, otherwise it wont.

Eddie, does your stead have a county boundaries map with a creek running through the middle and a whole lot of numbers 990 in the top right corner and 202 in the bottom left? That keeps popping up on my screen and also my internal camera recording. Happened just now again.

RE is aware of these problems and could give a dam. Ive been trying to get him to take seriously that my antivirus blocked a suspicious element exactly when we were pffft privately discussing whether we could trust haniel not to do all the things he said he could do above and beyond keeping track of Kings locations, and what we could or should do about it, when it happened. someone else was having trouble sending me messages, and I didnt think at the time to just immediately avigate off the page and not go back to it. It was about 4am and I had not been on any other site than DD since about 7pm. It is Trojan which takes over your computer NOT malware. Instead of clicking off I thought of deleting the account to get rid of my IP and email but make crossposting arrangements to show everyone progress on positive projects, agbs RR being perfect. agb was then immediately hit with the trojan too that took his antivurus over 10 minutes to deal with. RE told him to take it up with haniel, haniel is looking into my problems too he said in email. Anyway my details had been cached and I stupidly spent extra minutes doing that and my firewall allowed it.

My antivirus usually updates automatically, this time it needed to shut down and reboot, when it did I had a new network, and new things like the map popping up all the time then my camera recording. After several emails back and forth with RE who makes up for his lack of persuasiveness with persistence and pressure lol, I agreed to accept an old laptop, even though I only use large ones normally for my eyesight problems, or to post on DD from the nearest library. At that point my typing disappeared (I was just reminded I am filming myself the whole time Im online now, but theres no icon on the toolbar or any way I can find to turn it off) so I started again and copied it to paste back and the second time it disappeard I had it again to send.

Paranoid? Im about the least secretive person here other than a couple others who show their faces, names, and family members. So no BS about me worrying about my identity being revealed. Worry instead about rerouting through langley whatever that is, or complete access and control of your computer. This came from DD nowhere else.

You have it easy with your wife doc, I laughed at your comment about not wanting to be travelling in different directions in old age. She lives the good life, she knows its from the positive beliefs. I keep trying to tell all the doomers that scratch their heads about how BAU holds up for so long for so many that is the reason. Those visualisations have worked so far so why should they stop now? The only caveat is be careful what you wish for.

Does it work to make all the provisions for your family to survive even if they are not really supportive and see themselves as 'letting' and 'tolerating' you prepping? In my case its not really self sacrifice to allow me to to thes things its knowledge over many years that I predict things or have reservations about things and then Im proved right or it turns out there was in fact more to it. She knows I know what Im doing. And heres the hard truth, survival is also a seperation of wheat and chaff. You got to face that maybe no matter what you do if they cant stop looking back like Lots wife they ge turned to proverbial pillars of salt.

You might have more hope than me, as yours is at least not a sold out soul and aparatchik of evil in the upper echelons of police state sanctioning. You really never know if she would still have you without a range rover and rolex either, and I believe that if she wouldnt she wont make it, one way or another.

I dont have time to read through and edit the rushed response. I find that what I say sounds like o gibberish or speaking in tongues to readers depending on the religion and youre a made man.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 24, 2014, 03:44:07 PM
Trojan...ewwww. Sorry UB. Bad news.


I think you might have been looking at my neighbor to the east. My place is sort of a weird shape, and consists of two plots, one 31 acres and on 7 acres adjacent.  If you can get the computer to cooperate, go to "Burnet GIS" and do a parcel search of my last name, which is Tennison. The first one on the list isn't me, but #2 below is me.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: luciddreams on February 25, 2014, 06:33:15 AM


What they say about the prophet is the same thing they said about the shaman, in his hut at the edge of the village. Everyone kept their distance - until a crisis. Then everybody wants to know what the shaman knows.

WHD

As an aside here, my next client, in Black Mountain NC, for the ecological design business is a female shaman.  This is going to be an interesting job :emthup:

And blogworthy, we would expect, yes?

Definitely.  I've been planning to blog about our current client, a photoblog, just haven't gotten around to it.  Photoblogs seem to take  a lot more time for me to create than just writing. 
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Surly1 on February 25, 2014, 02:06:11 PM
Since my computer  could not get any more compromised than it is already, with whichever DD admin is doing it, theres nothing to lose visiting and posting. If one of the honest ones like surly sees this first it will show, otherwise it wont.

Eddie, does your stead have a county boundaries map with a creek running through the middle and a whole lot of numbers 990 in the top right corner and 202 in the bottom left? That keeps popping up on my screen and also my internal camera recording. Happened just now again.

RE is aware of these problems and could give a dam. Ive been trying to get him to take seriously that my antivirus blocked a suspicious element exactly when we were pffft privately discussing whether we could trust haniel not to do all the things he said he could do above and beyond keeping track of Kings locations, and what we could or should do about it, when it happened. someone else was having trouble sending me messages, and I didnt think at the time to just immediately avigate off the page and not go back to it. It was about 4am and I had not been on any other site than DD since about 7pm. It is Trojan which takes over your computer NOT malware. Instead of clicking off I thought of deleting the account to get rid of my IP and email but make crossposting arrangements to show everyone progress on positive projects, agbs RR being perfect. agb was then immediately hit with the trojan too that took his antivurus over 10 minutes to deal with. RE told him to take it up with haniel, haniel is looking into my problems too he said in email. Anyway my details had been cached and I stupidly spent extra minutes doing that and my firewall allowed it.

My antivirus usually updates automatically, this time it needed to shut down and reboot, when it did I had a new network, and new things like the map popping up all the time then my camera recording. After several emails back and forth with RE who makes up for his lack of persuasiveness with persistence and pressure lol, I agreed to accept an old laptop, even though I only use large ones normally for my eyesight problems, or to post on DD from the nearest library. At that point my typing disappeared (I was just reminded I am filming myself the whole time Im online now, but theres no icon on the toolbar or any way I can find to turn it off) so I started again and copied it to paste back and the second time it disappeard I had it again to send.

Paranoid? Im about the least secretive person here other than a couple others who show their faces, names, and family members. So no BS about me worrying about my identity being revealed. Worry instead about rerouting through langley whatever that is, or complete access and control of your computer. This came from DD nowhere else.

You have it easy with your wife doc, I laughed at your comment about not wanting to be travelling in different directions in old age. She lives the good life, she knows its from the positive beliefs. I keep trying to tell all the doomers that scratch their heads about how BAU holds up for so long for so many that is the reason. Those visualisations have worked so far so why should they stop now? The only caveat is be careful what you wish for.

Does it work to make all the provisions for your family to survive even if they are not really supportive and see themselves as 'letting' and 'tolerating' you prepping? In my case its not really self sacrifice to allow me to to thes things its knowledge over many years that I predict things or have reservations about things and then Im proved right or it turns out there was in fact more to it. She knows I know what Im doing. And heres the hard truth, survival is also a seperation of wheat and chaff. You got to face that maybe no matter what you do if they cant stop looking back like Lots wife they ge turned to proverbial pillars of salt.

You might have more hope than me, as yours is at least not a sold out soul and aparatchik of evil in the upper echelons of police state sanctioning. You really never know if she would still have you without a range rover and rolex either, and I believe that if she wouldnt she wont make it, one way or another.

I dont have time to read through and edit the rushed response. I find that what I say sounds like o gibberish or speaking in tongues to readers depending on the religion and youre a made man.

Glad you posted this, UB. I received an email from agelbert complaining that he had also been subjected to a Trojan attack, at about the same time. He mentioned that you had also been subjected.

Quote
Worry instead about rerouting through langley whatever that is, or complete access and control of your computer. This came from DD nowhere else.

In re the above, "Langley" refers to a CIA training facility in northern Virginia, also known as "the Farm." Just finished reading this article, which will be scant solace for you but goes to explain modern surveillance capabilities.

Survival is a day by day proposition.

"The Paragraph Began to Self-Delete": Did NSA Hack Computer of Snowden Biographer & Edit Book Draft?
(http://www.democracynow.org/2014/2/24/the_paragraph_began_to_self_delete)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on February 25, 2014, 03:02:59 PM
Since my computer  could not get any more compromised than it is already, with whichever DD admin is doing it, theres nothing to lose visiting and posting. If one of the honest ones like surly sees this first it will show, otherwise it wont.

Eddie, does your stead have a county boundaries map with a creek running through the middle and a whole lot of numbers 990 in the top right corner and 202 in the bottom left? That keeps popping up on my screen and also my internal camera recording. Happened just now again.

RE is aware of these problems and could give a dam. Ive been trying to get him to take seriously that my antivirus blocked a suspicious element exactly when we were pffft privately discussing whether we could trust haniel not to do all the things he said he could do above and beyond keeping track of Kings locations, and what we could or should do about it, when it happened. someone else was having trouble sending me messages, and I didnt think at the time to just immediately avigate off the page and not go back to it. It was about 4am and I had not been on any other site than DD since about 7pm. It is Trojan which takes over your computer NOT malware. Instead of clicking off I thought of deleting the account to get rid of my IP and email but make crossposting arrangements to show everyone progress on positive projects, agbs RR being perfect. agb was then immediately hit with the trojan too that took his antivurus over 10 minutes to deal with. RE told him to take it up with haniel, haniel is looking into my problems too he said in email. Anyway my details had been cached and I stupidly spent extra minutes doing that and my firewall allowed it.

My antivirus usually updates automatically, this time it needed to shut down and reboot, when it did I had a new network, and new things like the map popping up all the time then my camera recording. After several emails back and forth with RE who makes up for his lack of persuasiveness with persistence and pressure lol, I agreed to accept an old laptop, even though I only use large ones normally for my eyesight problems, or to post on DD from the nearest library. At that point my typing disappeared (I was just reminded I am filming myself the whole time Im online now, but theres no icon on the toolbar or any way I can find to turn it off) so I started again and copied it to paste back and the second time it disappeard I had it again to send.

Paranoid? Im about the least secretive person here other than a couple others who show their faces, names, and family members. So no BS about me worrying about my identity being revealed. Worry instead about rerouting through langley whatever that is, or complete access and control of your computer. This came from DD nowhere else.

You have it easy with your wife doc, I laughed at your comment about not wanting to be travelling in different directions in old age. She lives the good life, she knows its from the positive beliefs. I keep trying to tell all the doomers that scratch their heads about how BAU holds up for so long for so many that is the reason. Those visualisations have worked so far so why should they stop now? The only caveat is be careful what you wish for.

Does it work to make all the provisions for your family to survive even if they are not really supportive and see themselves as 'letting' and 'tolerating' you prepping? In my case its not really self sacrifice to allow me to to thes things its knowledge over many years that I predict things or have reservations about things and then Im proved right or it turns out there was in fact more to it. She knows I know what Im doing. And heres the hard truth, survival is also a seperation of wheat and chaff. You got to face that maybe no matter what you do if they cant stop looking back like Lots wife they ge turned to proverbial pillars of salt.

You might have more hope than me, as yours is at least not a sold out soul and aparatchik of evil in the upper echelons of police state sanctioning. You really never know if she would still have you without a range rover and rolex either, and I believe that if she wouldnt she wont make it, one way or another.

I dont have time to read through and edit the rushed response. I find that what I say sounds like o gibberish or speaking in tongues to readers depending on the religion and youre a made man.

Glad you posted this, UB. I received an email from agelbert complaining that he had also been subjected to a Trojan attack, at about the same time. He mentioned that you had also been subjected.

Quote
Worry instead about rerouting through langley whatever that is, or complete access and control of your computer. This came from DD nowhere else.

In re the above, "Langley" refers to a CIA training facility in northern Virginia, also known as "the Farm." Just finished reading this article, which will be scant solace for you but goes to explain modern surveillance capabilities.

Survival is a day by day proposition.

"The Paragraph Began to Self-Delete": Did NSA Hack Computer of Snowden Biographer & Edit Book Draft?
(http://www.democracynow.org/2014/2/24/the_paragraph_began_to_self_delete)

Exactlty, the paragraph I was writing to RE began to self delete. last nite I could not even open email site, I was meant to be giving him an adress to send a parcel.  I will be putting my main work on agb's RR and link to DD on either library or old laptop RE sends me.

Unless it gets seriously sorted you wont get back agb. Then there is / where is Joe a big drawcard of reading. how is whd meant to deal with being the reason for hanile making scarce? I dont know anything about him saving DD from oblivion but it seems to be facing oblivion now.




Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on February 25, 2014, 03:26:20 PM
Exactlty, the paragraph I was writing to RE began to self delete. last nite I could not even open email site, I was meant to be giving him an adress to send a parcel.  I will be putting my main work on agb's RR and link to DD on either library or old laptop RE sends me.

Unless it gets seriously sorted you wont get back agb. Then there is / where is Joe a big drawcard of reading. how is whd meant to deal with being the reason for hanile making scarce? I dont know anything about him saving DD from oblivion but it seems to be facing oblivion now.

I've been looking to find the problems but haven't found anything.  I asked Haniel to do the same.

I worked on an article last night  to deal with this issue best I can.  I'll publish it in the next couple of days.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- It Gets Boring
Post by: RE on February 25, 2014, 03:32:14 PM

I've run into a situation with my beloved partner that looks like it's going to be a real challenge. She has decided that the best way to deal with collapse is to ignore it and Think Positive Thoughts. As the convocation gets closer, she is going to some length to avoid participating, even as a spectator. She might actually decide to take a trip of some kind when my friends from the Diner drop in in April.

Leave Mrs. Eddie to me.  I will CHARM her into Doomerism.  LOL.

A few suggestions though.  Start growing Flowers on the Toothstead, and bring her a Bouquet back each time you go out and do some Prepping.  Women are suckers for Flowers.

Also, if she has artsy-fartsy tendencies (which she probably does since your progeny seems artsy-fartsy and I don't think they got this from you) do a sneaky End Around and buy her a Potters Wheel and Clay.  Maybe if she starts doing something like this making Pots and so forth she will get into the practical and fun parts of being a Doomer.

Seriously, try and discourage Mrs. Eddie from taking a trip away and AVOIDING us completely.  Maybe if she meets us and realizes we are all really nice people and not nutty psychos she will drop some of her Denialism and do some listening.

Remember, except for yourself, she really does not have any contact with Doomers.  She probably thinks of all of us as weirdos and nutcases.  If she meets us and realizes we are really good people with a good grasp on Reality, it might make some dent in her mindset.

Especially true if she likes to Laugh.  I am a very funny guy, even more so IRL then in prose.  I want the opportunity to help her see the lighter side of Doom.   Also, I think spending time with GM, another Female with Doom Understanding will help a LOT.  If GM and Mrs. Eddie do some Bonding, then I think your problems will be solved.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 25, 2014, 03:44:48 PM
That's what I thought too, but I'm not sure she's going to even give it a chance at all. Maybe I can bargain with her. I completely agree that if she would just give it a chance everything would be fine. Frankly, I'm really surprised she's being so weird about it. It really isn't like her.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: WHD on February 25, 2014, 05:19:05 PM
That's what I thought too, but I'm not sure she's going to even give it a chance at all. Maybe I can bargain with her. I completely agree that if she would just give it a chance everything would be fine. Frankly, I'm really surprised she's being so weird about it. It really isn't like her.


Quote
Remember, except for yourself, she really does not have any contact with Doomers.  She probably thinks of all of us as weirdos and nutcases.  If she meets us and realizes we are really good people with a good grasp on Reality, it might make some dent in her mindset.


Actually, I think that's what freaks out most of the women I meet, about me. I seem so normal, so clear eyed, so friendly, so open, so present. Then I say something about bankers, or the dollar, or Fukushima, or corporations, or chemicals, or the housing market, or consumerism....LOL  :icon_mrgreen:  :icon_sunny:

WHD


Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: luciddreams on February 26, 2014, 02:01:33 PM
That's what I thought too, but I'm not sure she's going to even give it a chance at all. Maybe I can bargain with her. I completely agree that if she would just give it a chance everything would be fine. Frankly, I'm really surprised she's being so weird about it. It really isn't like her.


Quote
Remember, except for yourself, she really does not have any contact with Doomers.  She probably thinks of all of us as weirdos and nutcases.  If she meets us and realizes we are really good people with a good grasp on Reality, it might make some dent in her mindset.


Actually, I think that's what freaks out most of the women I meet, about me. I seem so normal, so clear eyed, so friendly, so open, so present. Then I say something about bankers, or the dollar, or Fukushima, or corporations, or chemicals, or the housing market, or consumerism....LOL  :icon_mrgreen:  :icon_sunny:

WHD

Well I don't suppose you want a delusional plugged in female right? 

I mean, don't say that shit and maybe you'll meet some otherwise very intelligent vixen who'll play with your weiner and fall in love with you.   ;DThen later, she'll figure life with you is better than life in a fed ghetto. 

Look at Eddie, been happily married for 30 something years, got kids, is happy, and yet his wife don't give two fucks about us doomers. 

So...just sayin', don't set your bar to high.  Good women come in all different shapes, sizes, menalities, and spiritual/religious beliefs. 

Shaman...natural mystic...whatever dude...a man's gotta have some female lovin' or hell go insane (well...he's gotta have some lovin' at least :D). 
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on February 26, 2014, 02:20:00 PM
Shaman...natural mystic...whatever dude...a man's gotta have some female lovin' or hell go insane (well...he's gotta have some lovin' at least :D).

Does that mean all us Monks & Hermits are insane?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on February 26, 2014, 02:59:02 PM
That's what I thought too, but I'm not sure she's going to even give it a chance at all. Maybe I can bargain with her. I completely agree that if she would just give it a chance everything would be fine. Frankly, I'm really surprised she's being so weird about it. It really isn't like her.


Quote
Remember, except for yourself, she really does not have any contact with Doomers.  She probably thinks of all of us as weirdos and nutcases.  If she meets us and realizes we are really good people with a good grasp on Reality, it might make some dent in her mindset.


Actually, I think that's what freaks out most of the women I meet, about me. I seem so normal, so clear eyed, so friendly, so open, so present. Then I say something about bankers, or the dollar, or Fukushima, or corporations, or chemicals, or the housing market, or consumerism....LOL  :icon_mrgreen:  :icon_sunny:

WHD

Well I don't suppose you want a delusional plugged in female right? 

I mean, don't say that shit and maybe you'll meet some otherwise very intelligent vixen who'll play with your weiner and fall in love with you.   ;DThen later, she'll figure life with you is better than life in a fed ghetto. 

Look at Eddie, been happily married for 30 something years, got kids, is happy, and yet his wife don't give two fucks about us doomers. 

So...just sayin', don't set your bar to high.  Good women come in all different shapes, sizes, menalities, and spiritual/religious beliefs. 

Shaman...natural mystic...whatever dude...a man's gotta have some female lovin' or hell go insane (well...he's gotta have some lovin' at least :D).

Listen to LDs wise words brother,

Just talk about it to them without getting too angry and worked up.    More and more I say things like, "this situation isnt going to get amy better you know" and friends say 'no it isnt...etc'. Leave it at that for the day. Next thing you know youre talking away and one says 'Youre preaching to the converted you know' If youre not a married man already, like you arent, you got a green light right there to take the chick seriously, maybe. Otherwise waiting til youve seen them 3 times before shagging them is chivalrous enough, dont worship them ALL they arent worth it or even want it.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: luciddreams on February 26, 2014, 07:49:23 PM
Shaman...natural mystic...whatever dude...a man's gotta have some female lovin' or hell go insane (well...he's gotta have some lovin' at least :D).

Does that mean all us Monks & Hermits are insane?

RE

ummmmmm

shit, I don't know.

I know I couldn't turn away from the women and join the monastery.  I almost did, but then I was like "I'm gonna give it one more chance, and I'm gonna go find a southern bell," and I left Seattle and moved back to SC, and well...

the rest is history.

I flipped a penny, btw, in Seattle, and it landed on heads which was SC, tails was SoCal.  Where I was born. 
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: WHD on February 26, 2014, 08:43:45 PM
That's what I thought too, but I'm not sure she's going to even give it a chance at all. Maybe I can bargain with her. I completely agree that if she would just give it a chance everything would be fine. Frankly, I'm really surprised she's being so weird about it. It really isn't like her.


Quote
Remember, except for yourself, she really does not have any contact with Doomers.  She probably thinks of all of us as weirdos and nutcases.  If she meets us and realizes we are really good people with a good grasp on Reality, it might make some dent in her mindset.


Actually, I think that's what freaks out most of the women I meet, about me. I seem so normal, so clear eyed, so friendly, so open, so present. Then I say something about bankers, or the dollar, or Fukushima, or corporations, or chemicals, or the housing market, or consumerism....LOL  :icon_mrgreen:  :icon_sunny:

WHD

Well I don't suppose you want a delusional plugged in female right? 

I mean, don't say that shit and maybe you'll meet some otherwise very intelligent vixen who'll play with your weiner and fall in love with you.   ;DThen later, she'll figure life with you is better than life in a fed ghetto. 

Look at Eddie, been happily married for 30 something years, got kids, is happy, and yet his wife don't give two fucks about us doomers. 

So...just sayin', don't set your bar to high.  Good women come in all different shapes, sizes, menalities, and spiritual/religious beliefs. 

Shaman...natural mystic...whatever dude...a man's gotta have some female lovin' or hell go insane (well...he's gotta have some lovin' at least :D).

Listen to LDs wise words brother,

Just talk about it to them without getting too angry and worked up.    More and more I say things like, "this situation isnt going to get amy better you know" and friends say 'no it isnt...etc'. Leave it at that for the day. Next thing you know youre talking away and one says 'Youre preaching to the converted you know' If youre not a married man already, like you arent, you got a green light right there to take the chick seriously, maybe. Otherwise waiting til youve seen them 3 times before shagging them is chivalrous enough, dont worship them ALL they arent worth it or even want it.

Look at all that advice about women. All taken to heart.  ;D   

Fact is, there are a lot of women I find beautiful. I can't think of one though, I really want to ask out. Maybe when the weather is nicer.  :)

WHD
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on February 26, 2014, 11:30:33 PM
Shaman...natural mystic...whatever dude...a man's gotta have some female lovin' or hell go insane (well...he's gotta have some lovin' at least :D).

Does that mean all us Monks & Hermits are insane?

RE

ummmmmm

shit, I don't know.

I know I couldn't turn away from the women and join the monastery.

You don't have to join a Monastery to be a Monast.  You just choose not to get involved in romantic relationships with other people (or animals.  lol).

I don't think I could have done it before I was 30 though.  However, by around age 35 I was quite convinced that for me, trying to maintain a romantic relationship had more negatives than positives.  I didn't completely give up on sex for a few more years, but after a while the energy (and money!) it took to chat up some female, wine and dine her enough to convince her I was a potential "catch" when I knew I wasn't going to go another round at marriage seemed dishonest to me.

Don't know if I ever told the story here of my Last Relationship, though I know I told it on Reverse Engineering.  It was with a Truckstop Waitress who worked at the Petro in Joplin MO, which is not that far from Springfield.  She was a really sweet girl around 20 or so, I was almost 40 then.  The first time I stopped in there when she was working, I had set myself up at the table with all my neat electronic gadgets of the era, before most truckers had laptops and so forth.  She was really curious about them, and I found out she was studying Computer Science part time.  She laughed at my jokes, and I was smitten.  I made it a point to get routes down the I-44 for the next couple of months and dropped in there as often as I could.  I gave her my cell phone number, and we started talking regularly, something I really never do.

After a couple of months, I got off the road as was my practice for 2-3 weeks between OTR stints of around 3-4 months at a time.  I took her on her first Vacation outside of the FSoA, to the Bahamas.  I was the Successful Trucker she was looking for, and it didn't bother her I was almost 20 years older.  It went pretty well for around 6 months, and then she started dropping hints about getting MARRIED.  I couldn't do it.  I started to be "busy" every time she called me.  Then the next time off when I said I would be by, I didn't show up.  I finally sent her a "Dear Mary" letter and told her I thought she really should find a guy closer to her age and that I just wasn't good marriage material.  We talked a few times after that as "friends" but it petered out without the Romance.

I felt so bad about the whole deal I've never since gotten romantically involved with anyone, and gave up on sex.  Just not worth it to me, because I know in the end I would not get married again, and hurting someone like that is very unpleasant.

Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if I could have let myself go down the Marriage road again, but then I think about my marriage time and I am pretty sure it would have ended up as a repeat performance.  So I became a Solitary Man, and have been so ever since.

http://www.youtube.com/v/1ool7259xNQ?feature=player_detailpage

Parenthetical Note:  My ex-Wife's given name was Sue.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: luciddreams on February 27, 2014, 05:43:46 AM
interesting story RE.

I realize one doesn't have to join a monastery to be a hermit.  I'm just saying that was the other option I had for myself.  I told myself that if it didn't work out in a year or so I'd just join the monastery then.  This is the place I'd have likely ended up at had that penny landed on tails. 

http://www.shastaabbey.org/ (http://www.shastaabbey.org/)

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on February 27, 2014, 06:13:48 AM
This is the place I'd have likely ended up at had that penny landed on tails. 

Your life is a series of Coin Flips. You make choices that put you where you are.  If I had stayed on Wall Street, I would be just the man I excoriate today.  You make your choices, you live with the results.  That is how it goes. Everybody Knows.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 27, 2014, 06:29:06 AM
Would it surprise you if I said that I was on the verge of declaring hermit-hood some 35 or so years ago, about the time I met the beloved. I was about 22 or 23, divorced, disillusioned...and ready to build a little house in the East Texas woods and work my union job and read my books.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 27, 2014, 06:36:54 AM
I didn't completely give up on sex for a few more years, but after a while the energy (and money!) it took to chat up some female, wine and dine her enough to convince her I was a potential "catch" when I knew I wasn't going to go another round at marriage seemed dishonest to me.

That's key, isn't it? Some (few) people prefer to be honest with themselves and the people whose lives they touch.  The Scientologists talk about having clean hands and a clear heart. There is definitely something to that. Most people don't live lives of rigorous honesty.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on February 27, 2014, 06:37:53 AM
Would it surprise you if I said that I was on the verge of declaring hermit-hood some 35 or so years ago, about the time I met the beloved. I was about 22 or 23, divorced, disillusioned...and ready to build a little house in the East Texas woods and work my union job and read my books.

No it would not surprise me.  You were not old enough then to make the hermit choice though

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: WHD on February 27, 2014, 07:09:49 AM
Quote
I felt so bad about the whole deal I've never since gotten romantically involved with anyone, and gave up on sex.  Just not worth it to me, because I know in the end I would not get married again, and hurting someone like that is very unpleasant.

I don't see why you should have felt bad about it. The story you tell, it seems like it was all in good faith, until she talked marriage, and you felt that was a bad idea. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. But the relationship, for those six months, sounds like it was worth it for the both of you. I bet she never found another RE though, lol.

As for me, I've been a monast most of my adult life. Years at a time without sex, any kind of intimate relationship. At 40, it hardly seems worth the trouble. That, and I have become so idiosyncratic, bouncing around my house drunk and high dancing and singing, all my endless talk about the state of play for humanity, it's hard to imagine any serious woman being down with that.

At the same time, it is impossible to imagine taking this house off the grid, turning the garage into a B&B, without a woman involved.

WHD
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 27, 2014, 07:16:50 AM
I don't see why you should have felt bad about it. The story you tell, it seems like it was all in good faith, until she talked marriage, and you felt that was a bad idea.

With only very rare exceptions, establishing couple-hood is the driving force for females, as far as their dating habits. Almost no women out there at all are interested in any kind of relationship that might be considered casual. There will be times in a woman's life that she might have a casual fling, but in general, the goal is marriage. Spoken or unspoken. Consciously or not.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on February 27, 2014, 07:54:43 AM
I don't see why you should have felt bad about it. The story you tell, it seems like it was all in good faith, until she talked marriage, and you felt that was a bad idea.

With only very rare exceptions, establishing couple-hood is the driving force for females, as far as their dating habits. Almost no women out there at all are interested in any kind of relationship that might be considered casual. There will be times in a woman's life that she might have a casual fling, but in general, the goal is marriage. Spoken or unspoken. Consciously or not.

You could not be me wrong doc.

The only reason I did not point out to RE that had he been seeing other women in their 40's instead of 20 yr old, they wold not have been looking to settle down, was his additional point of the further dating he did.

Younger women especially in their 20s mostly have the desire to start a family, they have the reproductive urge. This changes completely once their capacity to reproduce ends.

Fact is over half marriages end in divorce and most divorces are initiated by women. The single women older than reproductive age are usually single for good reasons. The ones that still have the desire to be settling down are usually too selfish or difficult, genuinely settling down again capable ones are quickly taken off the market if they are reasonably attractive. Again being the keyword as if they have not been married before and suddenly ant to be married just around the end of their reproductive years, guarantee they do not really have it in them to be together with anyone but do not want to be childless is all. Recipe for disaster.

Most of the rest do not know what they want. They say they have great social lives but then should meet lots of men, ask further and  the social lives are firends with couples, and they are the third wheel a lot, or their kids are getting more independent and they are at a loose end. Thats not the normal innate desire to couple up.

They often say they dont want anyone short, fat, bald, or boring conversationalist but are often no oil painting themself, I had a female friend like that and its not unusual. That leaves only the players getting a shot since they want to be entertained and fill in the empty calendar slots with fun. They universally say they want a man who makes them laugh. Players like having fun and will make them laugh, but will not settle down themselves. And of course they complain about the players after shutting out the others as boring.

The MYTH of "left on the shelf after 30" is assabout, it applies to the men, its a choice of women in the western world. They can marry men like william any time, my brother beds them by the boatload.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 27, 2014, 08:24:53 AM
I'd say the older women get, the more you're assessment is correct, but just because women go for players doesn't mean they don't want to be in an LTR.

Most PEOPLE, these days, aren't able to make an LTR work. Women and men. I chalk that up to several things. No extended family influence to make couples stick it out. Easy to bail from a legal standpoint, with financial incentives for women to bail if children are involved. Cultural norms that say it's okay to be a serial monogamist.

I knew a man who got married, had a kid. After a year or two the woman bailed, took the kid. He sent regular child support for 18+ years, but never got visitation rights. His daughter still thinks he's scum, because her mother told her that.

So yeah, that stuff does go on. I'm aware. And some women of a certain age don't want marriage, especially if it means the gravy train ends.

But most men and women are serial monogamists in our culture, which I'd define as making the same mistakes over and over with different partners and wondering why it never quite works out.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Surly1 on February 27, 2014, 02:42:11 PM
I don't see why you should have felt bad about it. The story you tell, it seems like it was all in good faith, until she talked marriage, and you felt that was a bad idea.

With only very rare exceptions, establishing couple-hood is the driving force for females, as far as their dating habits. Almost no women out there at all are interested in any kind of relationship that might be considered casual. There will be times in a woman's life that she might have a casual fling, but in general, the goal is marriage. Spoken or unspoken. Consciously or not.

Yup. Just like sales-- always be closing.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on February 27, 2014, 03:36:56 PM
I'd say the older women get, the more you're assessment is correct, but just because women go for players doesn't mean they don't want to be in an LTR.

Most PEOPLE, these days, aren't able to make an LTR work. Women and men. I chalk that up to several things. No extended family influence to make couples stick it out. Easy to bail from a legal standpoint, with financial incentives for women to bail if children are involved. Cultural norms that say it's okay to be a serial monogamist.

I knew a man who got married, had a kid. After a year or two the woman bailed, took the kid. He sent regular child support for 18+ years, but never got visitation rights. His daughter still thinks he's scum, because her mother told her that.

So yeah, that stuff does go on. I'm aware. And some women of a certain age don't want marriage, especially if it means the gravy train ends.

But most men and women are serial monogamists in our culture, which I'd define as making the same mistakes over and over with different partners and wondering why it never quite works out.

Some people here had ideas about being monks or hermits but didnt do it becuase of their biological and social needs. In the same less than semi serious way the older single women have ideas about LTR's but it is only really driven by social and not biological needs.

Over the whole human history women are genetically programmed to hear their husband has been killed and then get over it. Because that made them vulnerable or very hard to survive they may have has an incentive to repartner. That has not been the case in recent history. Single women feel safe enough living alone or with children and usually have a comfortable life. Advertising what their interests are like going out to dinner and travels etc rather than traditionally as younger women would do how well they can cook dinner, (the way to a mans heart is through his stomach etc) Is foremost about having fun and the expectation is still for men to pay for all these dates, so why wouldnt you talk up all those weekends away, holidays  and dinners?

Players like doing all those things all the time and some know how to forget their wallet or say their pay hasnt cleared or tied up etc, just not with the same woman all the time. The women decry the players and ask where are all the good men etc but they do not take that search so seriously that in big numbers go to the expense, time and financial risk of meeting women from overseas. They dont really need it, just like probably less than 1% of prostitutes are hetro men catering to hetero women, they dont need it that bad. They advertise what they do want. Walks and talks and to be made to laugh over dinner. The average git hasnt got a whole lot to say on any subject near and dear her heart and it isnt the technicalities of what he does all day or how his football team is faring, he wants to be able to sit in silence sometimes and if a laugh is needed watch adam sandler or eddie murphy.

Thats why despite the risk of a life in jail for human trafficking (Yes we have these laws. Prior to arriving the immigraton dept needs to be satisfied the relationship is real, so you would think that she is having consented sex even making love and it is her culture gender role to be a good housekeeper. After arriving you can say that you discovered on arrival you were performing sexual and domestic services for the man you married and he will go to jail and you will be compensated.) Despite all these risks western men give up on western women who have reached the end of reproductive years, saying they dont know what they want and go overseas. I say these guys are over generalising, not all western women over 35-40 are like that, the ones that are not like that are taken though.

Speaking of google deciding what they need to sell you, I noticed about 15 years ago that ads for casual encounters and flings would always pop up on the computer no matter how much you ignore it. Ive never pursued that path, theres more often than not been enough women at work (note; NOT patients) willing if I wanted to do so, though If I was available they wouldnt be interested I bet. But I bet that a single man would have better chance of finding serious women who want to settle down on those casual sex sites than with matchmaking services (other than their mama, aunts etc). The reason is the women on the casual sex site would be the ones who still have the basic biological need regardless of age. Im just guessing but I bet a lot of them are basically monogamists as you say most people are.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on February 27, 2014, 04:29:28 PM
I don't see why you should have felt bad about it. The story you tell, it seems like it was all in good faith, until she talked marriage, and you felt that was a bad idea.

With only very rare exceptions, establishing couple-hood is the driving force for females, as far as their dating habits. Almost no women out there at all are interested in any kind of relationship that might be considered casual. There will be times in a woman's life that she might have a casual fling, but in general, the goal is marriage. Spoken or unspoken. Consciously or not.

I never dated any woman after college of ANY age who didn't start talking marriage after a few months. In the beginning it can be "casual", but once you start regular dating and aren't "seeing other people" the marriage talk starts.  You go to the mall to shop for a new dress, and some how manage to end up in the Jewelry store looking at Diamond Rings.  How did that happen?  LOL.

Far as UBs contention things might have been different if said female was 40+, I can't say.  All the women I dated were either my age or younger, I never dated older women.  OK, in college I had a brief fling with a girl a couple years older than me before meeting the Illuminati Spawn, but that was it.

Far as the mid-30s women I dated after my divorce, they were mostly divorced with kids and looking to remarry also.  Besides that, there just weren't too many 30-somethings who were too attractive and still single.  Certainly 95% of the 30+ Truckstop Waitresses weren't too attractive.  LOL.

In terms of feeling bad, some guys can drop women like stale toast and not feel bad about it, but I can't do that.  I made that breakup sound pretty clean, but there were tearful phone calls for weeks.  When a girl gets her hopes up for marriage she builds up a whole big fantasy about it, what the wedding will be like, how she will decorate the house etc.  In the infatuation period where she has decided YOU are THE GUY, the whole fantasy gets wrapped around you.  You pull this rug out from under her, and it's devastating.  Some guys avoid this by doing asshole things like calling up her best friend for a date etc so the female decides to end the relationship.  In fact I did that a couple of times too.  LOL.

Anyhow, after Kirsten it just wasn't worth it to me anymore to go through all the angst all over again, so I gave it up.  30 years of chasing skirts was enough for one lifetime.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: WHD on February 27, 2014, 10:46:04 PM
So I'm at the bar tonight, at my local pub, talking to 46 year old nurse, divorced with a kid, recently over traumatic common law baby making experience; who loves his kids; who has fucked like 6-8 women the last few months, many of them multiple times. All beautiful women, by any conventional standard. Some more unconventional than others. Almost all of whom he meets online.

On my other side: Married Dad Aussie transplant real-estate manager, cannabis lover, who tried to fix me up with wife's friend hostess/waitress - through the ONE woman/manager I have been like, hmmm... about (hostess/waitress' boss.)

Ever the mystery.  :D

WHD

 







 

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on February 27, 2014, 11:59:22 PM
So I'm at the bar tonight, at my local pub, talking to 46 year old nurse, divorced with a kid, recently over traumatic common law baby making experience; who loves his kids; who has fucked like 6-8 women the last few months, many of them multiple times. All beautiful women, by any conventional standard. Some more unconventional than others. Almost all of whom he meets online.

On my other side: Married Dad Aussie transplant real-estate manager, cannabis lover, who tried to fix me up with wife's friend hostess/waitress - through the ONE woman/manager I have been like, hmmm... about (hostess/waitress' boss.)

Ever the mystery.  :D

WHD

You could try an Online Asian Dating Service.  ::)

(http://youoffendmeyouoffendmyfamily.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/asiamatchonline-dating-asian-women-ad.jpg) (http://myasiandatingsite.com/wp-content/themes/dating/images/img-search.png) (http://stuffexpataidworkerslikedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/asian-women-dating-white-men1.jpg) (http://easyprofit.biz/images2/Robert%20Henderson%20-%20Secrets%20Of%20Dating%20Asian%20Women.jpg)

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on February 28, 2014, 03:01:47 AM
Ive updated the EV project thread on RR, shown 3 types of welders. Mig, Arc, and Oxy-acetylene. Because having an inverter big enough to weld heavy steel would be very expensive, a 3000W cant do it, And keeping a BIG generator just for welding seems silly, oxy welding is a good option to have on a sunstead. 2 BIG bottles if used sparingly could last years, just for welding fixing things tools. However in the salvage scavenge phase of collapse you would use up the gas soon heating and blacksmithing scavenged metal for tools. That is where a solar reflector parabola comes in. Problem is for oxy welding it is a mostly lost art today, you need someone who can do it. Checkit; http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/renewables/uncle-bob's-ev-project/msg806/#msg806 (http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/renewables/uncle-bob's-ev-project/msg806/#msg806)

William need not go as far afield as asia, he would get more mileage in motor city.  :laugh:

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: WHD on February 28, 2014, 06:40:10 AM
So I'm at the bar tonight, at my local pub, talking to 46 year old nurse, divorced with a kid, recently over traumatic common law baby making experience; who loves his kids; who has fucked like 6-8 women the last few months, many of them multiple times. All beautiful women, by any conventional standard. Some more unconventional than others. Almost all of whom he meets online.

On my other side: Married Dad Aussie transplant real-estate manager, cannabis lover, who tried to fix me up with wife's friend hostess/waitress - through the ONE woman/manager I have been like, hmmm... about (hostess/waitress' boss.)

Ever the mystery.  :D

WHD

You could try an Online Asian Dating Service.  ::)

(http://youoffendmeyouoffendmyfamily.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/asiamatchonline-dating-asian-women-ad.jpg) (http://myasiandatingsite.com/wp-content/themes/dating/images/img-search.png) (http://stuffexpataidworkerslikedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/asian-women-dating-white-men1.jpg) (http://easyprofit.biz/images2/Robert%20Henderson%20-%20Secrets%20Of%20Dating%20Asian%20Women.jpg)

RE

About as much as I want to....

(http://scientopia.org/img-archive/drugmonkey/img_176.jpg)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 28, 2014, 06:58:08 AM
Lots of Russian brides seem to find their way to the Caribbean. My dentist friend there says the husbands are always surprised to learn how jacked up their mail-order brides teeth are, and how much it's gonna  cost to fix them up.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on February 28, 2014, 07:47:36 AM
However in the salvage scavenge phase of collapse you would use up the gas soon heating and blacksmithing scavenged metal for tools. That is where a solar reflector parabola comes in. Problem is for oxy welding it is a mostly lost art today, you need someone who can do it.
Acetylene can easily be made by dripping water on calcium carbide.  Calcium carbide is fairly simple to make, just requiring calcium oxide (quick lime), carbon (charcoal), and about 2000deg C.  The last part is why I call it simple rather than easy.  This is where a parabolic solar furnace comes in handy.  However I suspect it will be easier and safer to make calcium carbide in a solar furnace than to try to weld using a concentrated sunbeam.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 28, 2014, 08:32:06 AM
Another interesting project would be to figure out how to make AND compress acetylene on a small scale (I'm sure this was once widely available tech, maybe a hundred years ago). I'm going to add it to my list.

Addendum: Found this interesting link on the history of commercially produced acetylene.

https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/calciumcarbideacetylene.html (https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/calciumcarbideacetylene.html)

Making calcium carbide is the hardest part. Not sure how available it is as a starting material, even though it is apparently still very much a part of industrial scale organic chemistry. A quick search shows it for sale at $9.50 a pound online if you buy ten pounds.

(from wiki, boldface added by me))

Calcium carbide is produced industrially in an electric arc furnace from a mixture of lime and coke at approximately 2000 °C. This method has not changed since its invention in 1888:

    CaO + 3 C → CaC2 + CO

The high temperature required for this reaction is not practically achievable by traditional combustion, so the reaction is performed in an electric arc furnace with graphite electrodes.

This reaction was an important part of the industrial revolution in chemistry, and was made possible in the USA as a result of massive amounts of inexpensive hydroelectric power produced at Niagara Falls before the turn of the 20th century.[5]

Sound familiar? Can you say negative EROEI?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on February 28, 2014, 01:43:42 PM
However in the salvage scavenge phase of collapse you would use up the gas soon heating and blacksmithing scavenged metal for tools. That is where a solar reflector parabola comes in. Problem is for oxy welding it is a mostly lost art today, you need someone who can do it.
Acetylene can easily be made by dripping water on calcium carbide.  Calcium carbide is fairly simple to make, just requiring calcium oxide (quick lime), carbon (charcoal), and about 2000deg C.  The last part is why I call it simple rather than easy.  This is where a parabolic solar furnace comes in handy.  However I suspect it will be easier and safer to make calcium carbide in a solar furnace than to try to weld using a concentrated sunbeam.

JDW
can you repost your comment on RR, follow the link thanks.

The qustions will be then how to bottle the acetylene you made. I also didnt suggest welding witha concentrated sunbeam, only blacksmithing to rework/retool metal.

And what happened to the pic I attached on my last post?

CENSORSHIP!!!
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: monsta666 on February 28, 2014, 02:07:02 PM
JDW
can you repost your comment on RR, follow the link thanks.

The qustions will be then how to bottle the acetylene you made. I also didnt suggest welding witha concentrated sunbeam, only blacksmithing to rework/retool metal.

And what happened to the pic I attached on my last post?

CENSORSHIP!!!

When a guest adds an attachment to a post this attachment needs further approval. It would seem the mod who okayed your post forgot to okay the attachment as well hence it did not show. If you register on the Doomstead Diner then you won't have to go through the inconvenience of having every post/attachment approved by an admin/mod.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: luciddreams on February 28, 2014, 03:37:54 PM
JDW
can you repost your comment on RR, follow the link thanks.

The qustions will be then how to bottle the acetylene you made. I also didnt suggest welding witha concentrated sunbeam, only blacksmithing to rework/retool metal.

And what happened to the pic I attached on my last post?

CENSORSHIP!!!

When a guest adds an attachment to a post this attachment needs further approval. It would seem the mod who okayed your post forgot to okay the attachment as well hence it did not show. If you register on the Doomstead Diner then you won't have to go through the inconvenience of having every post/attachment approved by an admin/mod.

Yeah UB...wtf?  I thought we were all in this together. 

 ;)

Come back and I'll have RE design you a UB patch you can put on a bugout pack or some shit.  Hell, I'll send you a bottle of South Cakalak's finest fermented hotsauce even.  Especially since you're the only one whom commented on what a "rock angle" might be (although the comment was simply to say that you have no idea).

However, a "rock angle" is what Zen called my first boomerang.  I asked him what it was and he said "I think it's a rock angle."  Which I think is because I made an A frame level with a rock I dug out of the ground on an Asheville dig.  It's a triangle, and it has a rock...hence his "rock angle," cause the boomerang is triangular. 
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on February 28, 2014, 07:28:07 PM
can you repost your comment on RR, follow the link thanks.

The qustions will be then how to bottle the acetylene you made. I also didnt suggest welding witha concentrated sunbeam, only blacksmithing to rework/retool metal.
I did repost, and added the following:

You wouldn't necessarily need to capture the acetylene you generate.  Calcium carbide is a solid, water is a liquid, so you could mix them in an appropriate bottle and the acetylene would automatically be pressurized.  You definitely would need to know what you are doing for this step.  Also, the other product of the reaction is calcium hydroxide, so you'd have to worry about how to handle that caustic substance.  Ultimately, though, you would heat the calcium hydroxide with oxygen to reconstitute the calcium oxide, with steam being driven off.

Also, the point about making the calcium carbide is that you can do it unattended in batches.  If you are actively working with metal in any way with concentrated solar, it is easy to forget for a split second that there is an invisible beam nearby that will instantly fry you.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on February 28, 2014, 09:51:17 PM
JDW
can you repost your comment on RR, follow the link thanks.

The qustions will be then how to bottle the acetylene you made. I also didnt suggest welding witha concentrated sunbeam, only blacksmithing to rework/retool metal.

And what happened to the pic I attached on my last post?

CENSORSHIP!!!

When a guest adds an attachment to a post this attachment needs further approval. It would seem the mod who okayed your post forgot to okay the attachment as well hence it did not show. If you register on the Doomstead Diner then you won't have to go through the inconvenience of having every post/attachment approved by an admin/mod.

Yeah UB...wtf?  I thought we were all in this together. 

 ;)

Come back and I'll have RE design you a UB patch you can put on a bugout pack or some shit.  Hell, I'll send you a bottle of South Cakalak's finest fermented hotsauce even.  Especially since you're the only one whom commented on what a "rock angle" might be (although the comment was simply to say that you have no idea).

However, a "rock angle" is what Zen called my first boomerang.  I asked him what it was and he said "I think it's a rock angle."  Which I think is because I made an A frame level with a rock I dug out of the ground on an Asheville dig.  It's a triangle, and it has a rock...hence his "rock angle," cause the boomerang is triangular.

Nice to see I prompted you to post something monsta and you havent been scared off by computer cooties. LD I would love some hotsauce if its ok to post it. Are you sure youre not like Bono's early 90's in love with my long hair period with the beard?

Plus the spambot filters keep my skillset sharp.

Lighten up lads! :icon_mrgreen:
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: luciddreams on March 01, 2014, 05:05:47 AM


Nice to see I prompted you to post something monsta and you havent been scared off by computer cooties. LD I would love some hotsauce if its ok to post it. Are you sure youre not like Bono's early 90's in love with my long hair period with the beard?


Maybe UB.  I've been thinking a lot lately about cutting all my hair off and shaving the beard.  I actually had a dream last night that I was back in boot camp getting ready to have my hair shaved off.  I've done it many times before, shaved my head. 

Being a Buddhist minded Druid I have much respect for not identifying with my look.  The long hair and long beard are really just because I've never had a chance in my life to grow long hair and a long beard.  I do like how it sets me apart from polite society.  I also seem to get more respect from people...probably because they are scared of the 6 foot 4 hairy beast walking around with mean cowboy boots on  ;D

I don't know dude, I'm just playing with appearances really.  I'm getting tired of the difficulty with eating these days.  A sandwich in public...forget about it.  Cheese dip at the mexican restaurant...GM get's a kick out of that one.  The other day I was eating a sandwich and got a mustache hair stuck between my teeth...that shit hurt and was complicated to fix  :D

Anyways, comedic aside over...cause who really gives a shit about my hair and beard?  I wouldn't say I'm in love with either, it's just sort of like gravity right now...it's just happening. 

As far as the hotsauce goes...where do you want me to send it?  Get me the location and I'll mail you a bottle of my hottest Cayenne/Habanero blend.   
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: WHD on March 01, 2014, 07:34:36 AM


Nice to see I prompted you to post something monsta and you havent been scared off by computer cooties. LD I would love some hotsauce if its ok to post it. Are you sure youre not like Bono's early 90's in love with my long hair period with the beard?


Maybe UB.  I've been thinking a lot lately about cutting all my hair off and shaving the beard.  I actually had a dream last night that I was back in boot camp getting ready to have my hair shaved off.  I've done it many times before, shaved my head. 

Being a Buddhist minded Druid I have much respect for not identifying with my look.  The long hair and long beard are really just because I've never had a chance in my life to grow long hair and a long beard.  I do like how it sets me apart from polite society.  I also seem to get more respect from people...probably because they are scared of the 6 foot 4 hairy beast walking around with mean cowboy boots on  ;D

I don't know dude, I'm just playing with appearances really.  I'm getting tired of the difficulty with eating these days.  A sandwich in public...forget about it.  Cheese dip at the mexican restaurant...GM get's a kick out of that one.  The other day I was eating a sandwich and got a mustache hair stuck between my teeth...that shit hurt and was complicated to fix  :D

Anyways, comedic aside over...cause who really gives a shit about my hair and beard?  I wouldn't say I'm in love with either, it's just sort of like gravity right now...it's just happening. 

As far as the hotsauce goes...where do you want me to send it?  Get me the location and I'll mail you a bottle of my hottest Cayenne/Habanero blend.   

I'm in protest, not shaving until the weather breaks.

You should go to the thrift store an buy a pair of Aviator sunglasses to go with the boots and long hair.  8)

BTW - My salsas and sauces, not even I can eat. I need a tutorial.

WHD

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on March 01, 2014, 03:38:26 PM
attachments???
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: WHD on March 01, 2014, 03:50:53 PM
attachments???

UB,

Approved. Worry less about the lag, of the approval of the attachments of a GUEST.  :icon_mrgreen:

Very glad to see you back posting.  :)

WHD

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: luciddreams on March 01, 2014, 06:31:00 PM


BTW - My salsas and sauces, not even I can eat. I need a tutorial.

WHD

I've got video somewhere of me making last years hotsauce...bet GM would know where.

Anyways, it's really quite simple.

I use a Ninja, but any blender will do, or combination of blender and food processor. 

So harvest, cut stems off, throw peppers in ninja along with garlic, sea salt, either lemon or lime, vinegar, and a bit of high quality water, then blend until your done blending ;D

Pour into jars and seal with a top layer of olive oil around a quarter inch thick. 

I'll try to locate the video of me making it in the gypsy house last summer.  I blended aji amerillo, cayenne, jalapeno, and habanero. 

And UB...cruiserwoowoo...wtf :icon_scratch:

woo woo?  You're gonna have to explain that one. 
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on March 02, 2014, 01:41:41 PM


And UB...cruiserwoowoo...wtf :icon_scratch:

woo woo?  You're gonna have to explain that one.

The important thing to remember about it is its not important,  just an easy way for me to remember it. Since as when kids were in nappies their mama would call a dog a woo woo based on the noise it made. I changed his name from Cruza, since the previous owner was not hispanic like a Cruz,  maybe he just couldnt spell.

Whats more important is how hard it is now to use my usual email or post anything at all here.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: luciddreams on March 02, 2014, 02:29:37 PM


And UB...cruiserwoowoo...wtf :icon_scratch:

woo woo?  You're gonna have to explain that one.

The important thing to remember about it is its not important,  just an easy way for me to remember it. Since as when kids were in nappies their mama would call a dog a woo woo based on the noise it made. I changed his name from Cruza, since the previous owner was not hispanic like a Cruz,  maybe he just couldnt spell.

Whats more important is how hard it is now to use my usual email or post anything at all here.

I sent you an email...did you get it? 
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Coldest Day of the Year
Post by: Eddie on March 03, 2014, 06:20:10 AM
Temperature of 22 F at my house this morning with a crisp north wind bringing the chill factor down near zero. To put that in perspective, I was getting ready to plant tomato starts this time last year. No ice on the roads this morning though. Made it to work just fine. supposed to be back in the 60's by Wednesday. I'm cutting it close with my potatoes, now in the ground for nearly six weeks. They should be sending green sprouts up any day. Hopefully this is winter's last gasp. If not,  they might get nipped.

 The lettuce and other winter crops, which have been doing great, have been under cover since Saturday night. We'll see how they did with this bitter round of  frost on Wednesday. I'm leaving the row cover on until then. The shade doesn't seem to bother the greens too much. I've left them covered for days at a time this winter. I guess the white row cover fabric lets a fair amount of sunlight through it.

The weekend was a complete blow-off for me. Had too many errands after work to go to the 'stead Friday. Got a late start Saturday, and then ran across some small steel drums on Craigslist, the kind I needed to build heat risers for the planned rocket stove. I drove all the way to New Braunfels to pick them up, but I got them for $4 apiece, so it was worth it. Those smaller "grease drums" seem to be getting hard to find. Now I need to round up the refractory materials.

Sunday was supposed to be mild early in the morning, but the cold front came early, and it was way too cold to enjoy working on the deck. I did manage to pick up a cheap grinder from Harbor Freight and I successfully modified the over-sized pin connectors on the battery cables for the Bug-Out PV Kit. When I get home I'll drag it from the garage into the house and finalize the mounting for the inverter and the last fuse block. It should be ready for some testing by next weekend.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Eddie Enrolls in Rocket Stove U.
Post by: Eddie on March 03, 2014, 10:00:11 AM
So .....I'm getting serious about learning about thermal mass rocket heaters. Several weeks ago JD made me aware of this set of DVD's from Paul Wheaton, which documents a class given by RMH master teachers Erica and Ernie Wisner, and also shows builds of some other RMH projects.

http://www.amazon.com/Wood-Burning-Stoves-2-0-Heaters/dp/B00FBXAFQA (http://www.amazon.com/Wood-Burning-Stoves-2-0-Heaters/dp/B00FBXAFQA)

It's a four DVD set, and I'm sure it's great...but it's a little pricey, and not everything they talk about is directly applicable to the build I'm planning, which is a near-copy of this technique posted on youtube by Matt Walker, who has now started his own stove company, Walker Stoves. His new product is a hybrid of rocket stove and masonry heater design, and looks awesome...but I want to build my own.

Here are the youtube links for Matts cast refractory core made a year or so back. I posted them before.

http://www.youtube.com/v/7ANMXGrxgnE&fs=1

http://www.youtube.com/v/AqvTdbRSlwk&list=UUXnaWrIqSe7BgrlD14zUFAw&feature=share&index=6&fs=1

Matt has a new website for Walker Stoves. Nice, nice designs from what I can see.

http://walkerstoves.com/ (http://walkerstoves.com/)

But I felt like I needed more info than what Matt shows on the core build. Namely, all the other stuff I need to know BESIDES the core build. Rather than pony up the $105 for Wheaton's Wood Stove 2.0 DVD's, I went to Ernie and Erica's site. They also have a DVD, which a appears to be specific to the thermal mass bench type heaters they pioneered. I decided to start with that one, which can be ordered online from Village Video for $47.

http://villagevideo.org/ (http://villagevideo.org/)

All the builders still pay homage to this book, now in its third printing, from Ianto Evans and Leslie Jackson.

http://www.amazon.com/Rocket-Mass-Heaters-Superefficient-Woodstoves/dp/0966373839 (http://www.amazon.com/Rocket-Mass-Heaters-Superefficient-Woodstoves/dp/0966373839)

If $170 bucks used from Amazon sounds expensive, relax. That's for the out-of-print older edition, which is apparently becoming a collectors item. You can get the brand new third edition here, for $18 bucks plus shipping:

http://www.rocketstoves.com/ (http://www.rocketstoves.com/)

So later this week I'll have a DVD to watch and a book to read. That will probably be enough to get me started. But Ernie and Erica Wisner also sell complete plans for several of their designs. I'll go there next if I have questions.

http://www.ernieanderica.info/shop (http://www.ernieanderica.info/shop)





Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Coldest Day of the Year
Post by: Petty Tyrant on March 03, 2014, 03:33:05 PM
Temperature of 22 F at my house this morning with a crisp north wind bringing the chill factor down near zero.

William would have went swimming  :laugh:
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 03, 2014, 04:21:14 PM
But would he recognize water with no ice on top?

Reminds me of that joke about how to capture a polar bear.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Bug-Out PV Kit
Post by: Eddie on March 04, 2014, 10:34:18 AM
It's finally done. Well, I have to borrow a heat gun again to put  a little heat shrink on the battery cables I had to modify. But essentially the project is finished, and I now have what I'd call the smallest photovoltaic array and charging system available today that will provide what I regard as the power necessary for normal living.

I should be able to power adequate lighting, power tools, battery charging for electronics, and refrigeration. Perfect for a bug-out trailer or any other nomadic dwelling. Enough for a family to live on, if they aren't wasteful.

I've learned some things I could never have figured out from any book, and built a system that can't be bought off the shelf for any amount of money. If you ordered it from a pro, it would probably go for $8-10K, based on similar systems I've seen offered. And it cost me roughly $2K to do it myself.

Compared to the lightweight systems I've seen, like the NetZero product, it has more than three times the generating capability of their largest system, and more than twice the storage. Those set-ups lack the generating power to maintain their own battery. What they are is a battery with an inverter. Something that plugs into an AC outlet most of the time, but can be PARTIALLY charged with the small panels they provide...until the battery dies and you buy a new one, which I'm guessing would be pretty often.

My system should provide more than 95% of it's own generating power and keep batteries alive for 5 to 7 years.

The biggest take-away from the project is this:

 A PV system big enough to be worth anything is HEAVY. My project tips the scales at 250 pounds. And given the current available batteries, that's something not apt to change much right away. This is why NetZero doesn't make a system like mine. With electricity available everywhere at the moment, almost nobody would see the benefit of lugging a 250 pound kit out camping.

I think it's time for me to try to get back into making some videos and still pics. I hate having to manipulate digital images, edit, etc. Just not my favorite kind of work, although I admire those more digitally capable. I think I have an older digital camera that will make small enough images for me to post them without re-sizing. I just need to dig it out, check the battery, see if I still have a card reader for it, remember how to change the settings....

Shit, I long for the days when a 50 year old Leica was just as good as a new one. Digital cameras, great as they are, are like cell phones to me, just more technically sophisticated crap that soon turns into useless outdated junk.

So, for those (like my beloved) who accuse me of having a problem completing projects, this makes two nice ones I've gotten done within a  year...the Zena Welder/Generator, and now the PV Kit. And they complement each other, because I can use the Zena to keep the batteries charged when there's no sun.

Now, back to the wind power project that's been on the back burner for nine months. And the greenhouse...and the new rocket stove project...and the solar water pump project.

It's endless. Got to be satisfied with the journey, because I never seem to reach a final destination. And if/when I do, I  probably won't care, because I won't be breathing anymore.



Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Grey Water Recycling
Post by: Eddie on March 11, 2014, 06:02:40 AM
It's 7:30 a.m. and I'm tired.

I'm not yet adjusted to the time change, for one thing, but I'm also physically sore from four straight days of working to finish the deck out at the cabin. Of course, I hit it harder on some of those days than I did on others. I got rained out on Saturday afternoon, a welcome reprieve. It has rained at the stead in the last couple of years, but I've always managed to miss it. Pretty sweet, even though it wasn't anything like a gully-washer.

I got up at 5:30 a.m. yesterday to do some cases in day surgery, and was done and out on the 'stead by 1 p.m. By the end of the afternoon the deck was finished, with the exception of the railing, which is also nearing completion, but needing some minor touches to get it right.

I also tore into the bathroom remodel I have planned. With one month left until the convocation, I will be cutting it close to get it done, but I think I'll have it plumbed and functional, if not perfectly finished.

The question I'm dealing with now is whether or not to take advantage of the remodel to route the water from the new shower to some kind of grey water recycling tank, or to a sump in the  yard as opposed to the previous set-up, which routes the grey water to the septic tank. Either way it gets back into the ground.

My concern is that the shower won't get used enough to generate much grey water most of the time, and a system with aquatic plants probably wouldn't work, since it would dry out when I'm not out there. Something to think about between now and Friday afternoon. I won't be back out there until then.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Grey Water Recycling
Post by: Petty Tyrant on March 11, 2014, 05:01:02 PM
It's 7:30 a.m. and I'm tired.

I'm not yet adjusted to the time change, for one thing, but I'm also physically sore from four straight days of working to finish the deck out at the cabin. Of course, I hit it harder on some of those days than I did on others. I got rained out on Saturday afternoon, a welcome reprieve. It has rained at the stead in the last couple of years, but I've always managed to miss it. Pretty sweet, even though it wasn't anything like a gully-washer.

I got up at 5:30 a.m. yesterday to do some cases in day surgery, and was done and out on the 'stead by 1 p.m. By the end of the afternoon the deck was finished, with the exception of the railing, which is also nearing completion, but needing some minor touches to get it right.

I also tore into the bathroom remodel I have planned. With one month left until the convocation, I will be cutting it close to get it done, but I think I'll have it plumbed and functional, if not perfectly finished.

The question I'm dealing with now is whether or not to take advantage of the remodel to route the water from the new shower to some kind of grey water recycling tank, or to a sump in the  yard as opposed to the previous set-up, which routes the grey water to the septic tank. Either way it gets back into the ground.

My concern is that the shower won't get used enough to generate much grey water most of the time, and a system with aquatic plants probably wouldn't work, since it would dry out when I'm not out there. Something to think about between now and Friday afternoon. I won't be back out there until then.

The sump is good becaue you can start with a small one like  have outside the kitchen, which is just a big laundry trough (which I did walk into once in the dark), a big bucket of about 3 times the normal size bucket sits in it nicely and any time you want some water you just pick it up, saving the time of filling one up. If more people start making more greywater its simple to just expand the size of the sump, like with a sheep drinking trough or just dug in the earth with plastic lining. Frogs and birds will find it too which are nice to have around. You can see some pics of what Ive been working on here.. http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/fossil-fuel-folly/hugelasagnardening/msg870/#new (http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/fossil-fuel-folly/hugelasagnardening/msg870/#new)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 11, 2014, 06:25:55 PM
Thanks UB. I'll probably do exactly what you're suggesting. I visited your new post over at AG's site, but haven't had time to fully assimilate your new article. I'll have comments soon. I came home and crashed after work. Still groggy as hell. Tell me again why we have to change the clocks twice a year?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Grey Water Recycling
Post by: WHD on March 11, 2014, 10:42:01 PM
It's 7:30 a.m. and I'm tired.

I'm not yet adjusted to the time change, for one thing, but I'm also physically sore from four straight days of working to finish the deck out at the cabin. Of course, I hit it harder on some of those days than I did on others. I got rained out on Saturday afternoon, a welcome reprieve. It has rained at the stead in the last couple of years, but I've always managed to miss it. Pretty sweet, even though it wasn't anything like a gully-washer.

I got up at 5:30 a.m. yesterday to do some cases in day surgery, and was done and out on the 'stead by 1 p.m. By the end of the afternoon the deck was finished, with the exception of the railing, which is also nearing completion, but needing some minor touches to get it right.

I also tore into the bathroom remodel I have planned. With one month left until the convocation, I will be cutting it close to get it done, but I think I'll have it plumbed and functional, if not perfectly finished.

The question I'm dealing with now is whether or not to take advantage of the remodel to route the water from the new shower to some kind of grey water recycling tank, or to a sump in the  yard as opposed to the previous set-up, which routes the grey water to the septic tank. Either way it gets back into the ground.

My concern is that the shower won't get used enough to generate much grey water most of the time, and a system with aquatic plants probably wouldn't work, since it would dry out when I'm not out there. Something to think about between now and Friday afternoon. I won't be back out there until then.

Impressive, dentist. I can grow food, and I can remodel, but I can't do invasive dental surgery. LOL.  :o  :emthup: :emthup: :emthup:

As for the grey water, I recommend setting up a dual system, either/or, while you have it opened up. When the time comes to start the pond, you won't have to rip it up.  Meanwhile you can hook a downspout up to the pond, and hope for the best. ;)

WHD

WHD

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 12, 2014, 04:37:44 AM
I'm a jack of all trades and a master of none. With dentistry I'm a journeyman, at least. With bathrooms, I'm a rank amateur. On growing food, well, let me just say I'm glad the grocery store is still open at the moment.

My goal is to make the cabin comfy so I can enjoy spending the night out there. The convo just gives me some motivation to stay on a schedule. When you come down, you'll see what a long way I have to go to get my systems up and running out there. It's a daunting task, and this year I'm just trying to apply myself a little more.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 12, 2014, 04:55:53 AM
Interesting how the Interplay motivates each of us.

Were it not for the fact the convocation was imminent, Eddie likely would not be trying to spruce up the Toothstead as much as he is.  Were it not for the convocation, I would not be buying every fucking video and audio recording instrument available on the market at the moment. ::)

We all are motivated by each other to be the best we can be.  This is a very good thing.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 12, 2014, 05:29:34 AM
As for the grey water, I recommend setting up a dual system, either/or, while you have it opened up. When the time comes to start the pond, you won't have to rip it up.  Meanwhile you can hook a downspout up to the pond, and hope for the best. ;)

This occurred to me too. I'm running into "trailer house plumbing syndrome", you know, where normal size plumbing fixtures have to mate with that weird black ABS drain pipe crap they use for trailers. It's awfully tempting just to run a new drain to the grey water tank and bypass the old system completely. Way easier....but I think I'll try to work out a switchable drain if i can figure out how to make it work. I hate crawl spaces.

Right now I have a bathroom with no floor at all and lots of dirty debris on the ground underneath. Hopefully I can get the plumbing for the shower and toilet worked out before I put the floor in...but I'll still have to crawl around under there....not looking forward to that part of it.

We all are motivated by each other to be the best we can be.  This is a very good thing.

I think so.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Surly1 on March 12, 2014, 08:16:42 AM
Quote from: RE, seconded by Eddie
We all are motivated by each other to be the best we can be.  This is a very good thing.

And thirded by Surly. Wonderful to see happening.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: luciddreams on March 12, 2014, 11:06:12 AM
Quote from: RE, seconded by Eddie
We all are motivated by each other to be the best we can be.  This is a very good thing.

And thirded by Surly. Wonderful to see happening.

I agree as well.  The Vue is at the mechanics now gettin' it's tune up and a new set of wheels for the trip.  Our next priority is figuring out how we're going to increase our cargo room, or figuring out how to be like a commando gypsy druid family with various packs strategically placed in perfect harmony in the limited space of that vue.  Hell, you'd be surprised the size of something as simple as a diaper bag.  When you have a kid in diapers, and a not quite 4 year old, plus your own needs, car space gets eaten up quickly.  The vue doesn't have toeing capabilities, so I may have to fix that.  I'm also lookin' into hang off the back type deals, or more likely one of those canvas bags for the top...but that would screw with our gas mileage probably.  Any suggestions would be appreciated at this point. 

We're talking about camping in campgrounds on the way there.  I'm getting into that part of the trip now...logistics.  I'm Navy when it comes down to it...some things they imbed in you...but for the better. 

"Prior planning prevents piss poor performance."  I either learned that in boot camp or in A school just before NNPTC. 

 
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 12, 2014, 11:38:00 AM
"Prior planning prevents piss poor performance

I thought that was a dental school saying. LOL.

We used to say that...sort of a backlash against all the signs the faculty had posted everywhere in all our labs and the clinic. The signs said things like "Being neat is being professional." No kidding, they must have had hundreds of those signs made, the etched letter plastic kind that glue permanently to the cabinets.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 12, 2014, 11:43:10 AM
On the packing...think about a trailer hitch and one of those flat shelf carriers that mounts to the hitch channel. They hold a lot and don't create much drag. Good for the cooler and luggage.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on March 12, 2014, 05:14:50 PM
On the packing...think about a trailer hitch and one of those flat shelf carriers that mounts to the hitch channel. They hold a lot and don't create much drag. Good for the cooler and luggage.

seconded.

On navy, planning, procedure, Ive always thought every young man should get military training. Just look at the success of protestors against riot cops in places where a year or 2 national service is required compared to where it isnt. I often look at them and say they should do this and that, then see others in other places in old uniform jackets doing just that and winning. Of course this belief only works out for me if our defense forces are only used for defense.





Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: DoomerSupport on March 12, 2014, 09:36:17 PM
Quick thought:  Have you thought about a simple two-piston sterling engine to power a water pump?  A solar collector for a heat source, the water pumped up will be pretty cold, so you have a good temperature gradient.

I'm thinking of trying to make one to pump the aquaponics setup.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on March 13, 2014, 07:06:26 AM
The vue doesn't have toeing capabilities, so I may have to fix that.
Last time I checked, my local U-haul, which also is an auto parts store, would install a trailer hitch for $150.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on March 13, 2014, 07:09:22 AM
"Prior planning prevents piss poor performance

I thought that was a dental school saying. LOL.
Anecdotally, during the Apollo program, I have read that NASA had signs up that read "Waste Everything But Time".
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 13, 2014, 07:21:52 AM
Have you thought about a simple two-piston sterling engine to power a water pump?  A solar collector for a heat source, the water pumped up will be pretty cold, so you have a good temperature gradient.


I'm a Sterling engine virgin. Let me know how it works out. I was thinking more along the lines of what those urban farm guys are doing.

http://www.youtube.com/v/R-mCzjhj0Aw&fs=1

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead -- Ernie and Erica Wisner on Rocket Stoves
Post by: Eddie on March 14, 2014, 06:02:20 AM
I started watching the  Rocket Stove DVD I ordered. So far it's a real gem. Interestingly, it was made with funds from a Kickstarter campaign. The DVD details the construction of the heater in the pic posted below, but it starts out talking about a lot of cob building details that would only be known to experts in cob building, and worth the price for that knowledge alone.


(https://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/projects/420534/photo-little.jpg?1356595203)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/673303251/rocket-stove-instructional-dvd (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/673303251/rocket-stove-instructional-dvd)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead -- Ernie and Erica Wisner on Rocket Stoves
Post by: luciddreams on March 14, 2014, 04:27:18 PM
I started watching the  Rocket Stove DVD I ordered. So far it's a real gem. Interestingly, it was made with funds from a Kickstarter campaign. The DVD details the construction of the heater in the pic posted below, but it starts out talking about a lot of cob building details that would only be known to experts in cob building, and worth the price for that knowledge alone.


(https://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/projects/420534/photo-little.jpg?1356595203)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/673303251/rocket-stove-instructional-dvd (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/673303251/rocket-stove-instructional-dvd)

Dude, I would love to help you build one of those at the Toothstead. 
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 14, 2014, 10:01:45 PM
Nothing I'd like better. I have the grease drum and the stovepipe to build the refractory core. I just have to find time to go to the correct builders supply during 8-5 hours to get the clay and the other stuff. I will have it ready to go when you arrive.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: WHD on March 16, 2014, 12:07:42 PM
Nothing I'd like better. I have the grease drum and the stovepipe to build the refractory core. I just have to find time to go to the correct builders supply during 8-5 hours to get the clay and the other stuff. I will have it ready to go when you arrive.

I'll supervise.  :director:  :BangHead: :roll2:  :ernaehrung004:

WHD
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 17, 2014, 05:57:07 AM
Cool and windy here yesterday. I was glad to have projects going inside. Worked at least a few hours each Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the cabin. Getting close to driving the last screws into the deck railing. Worked on that Friday but then switched to the bathroom remodel. I estimate I should finish both next weekend, which leaves one more weekend for odds and ends, before the Doomers descend on the 'stead.

So far I dry fitted all the drains and cut and pieced in the new subfloor. I had to notch two floor joists and a stud to move the shower drain from its former position to where the new drain exits. What did people do before the chain saw? When I cranked that baby up inside the house, the dogs, who had been lying around watching, beat a hasty retreat to the outdoors.

I tried in the new shower surround and the new toilet. Everything lines up and everything fits. Now it gets taken apart again and a few new nailers sistered in place...then final assembly. I still have to plumb the water to the shower and the toilet. I still have to put in new floor and wall coverings. I still have to place new insulation under the subfloor. Lots of work, but it is progressing.

My spring gardening is suffering neglect. Spring has come to the hill country while I wasn't paying attention. I need to get my tomatoes and peppers in the ground..
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: GypsyMama on March 17, 2014, 06:10:27 AM
We're quite certain that our garden will be mediocre this year.  We plan to put some seeds into the ground just before we leave for the 'stead...and then leave them in the hands of Mother Nature.  It will be interesting to see what survives (hopefully something will!) while we are gone :)

At the very least, as LD has said, we'll have plenty of volunteer plants popping up all over the place.  This year's garden is going to be WILD! :) :icon_mrgreen: :icon_sunny:

I'm looking forward to seeing all of the hard work you're doing out there, Eddie.

Not too much longer now! :)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: WHD on March 17, 2014, 09:58:52 AM
Quote
What did people do before the chain saw? When I cranked that baby up inside the house, the dogs, who had been lying around watching, beat a hasty retreat to the outdoors.

You should invest in a sawzall/reciprocating saw. Much safer. Much handier, indoors and out.

WHD
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 17, 2014, 10:02:22 AM
Got one, and I used it quite a bit...but it doesn't fit in a tight corner as well as the tip of my Echo 455.

Safer? No doubt.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: luciddreams on March 18, 2014, 06:40:05 PM
Got one, and I used it quite a bit...but it doesn't fit in a tight corner as well as the tip of my Echo 455.

Safer? No doubt.

I put my 20" husqvarna Rancher to the test today.  We were constructing gabbions in the gully were fixing, for the spring restoration, and there was a two foot diameter tree that had fallen across it years ago.  Probably from lighting strike.  It's the biggest black locust my partner had ever seen (he knows trees).  Fuckin' hard wood.  I had just sharpened the chain, and it wore the chain out within five minutes and I hadn't cut a damn thing yet.  The chain was smokin'...so I figured I should give it a rest and figure out what the malfunction was. 

I set the saw down on some damp wood in the gully bed and it smoked and sizzled.  I could have started a fire with that blade easy. 

Then we planted six more trees in the swale/berm orchard we've created on her south facing slope. 

This is what I'm going to do for the rest of my life.  A job is no longer possible, or necessary for me.  When we get back from Texas at the end of April, we're moving to Asheville NC. 
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on March 18, 2014, 09:54:46 PM
Got one, and I used it quite a bit...but it doesn't fit in a tight corner as well as the tip of my Echo 455.

Safer? No doubt.

I put my 20" husqvarna Rancher to the test today.  We were constructing gabbions in the gully were fixing, for the spring restoration, and there was a two foot diameter tree that had fallen across it years ago.  Probably from lighting strike.  It's the biggest black locust my partner had ever seen (he knows trees).  Fuckin' hard wood.  I had just sharpened the chain, and it wore the chain out within five minutes and I hadn't cut a damn thing yet.  The chain was smokin'...so I figured I should give it a rest and figure out what the malfunction was. 

I set the saw down on some damp wood in the gully bed and it smoked and sizzled.  I could have started a fire with that blade easy. 
Doesn't surprise me in the least, though I wouldn't have predicted it in advance.  You will probably die of old age before that black locust trunk rots.
Quote
Then we planted six more trees in the swale/berm orchard we've created on her south facing slope. 

This is what I'm going to do for the rest of my life.  A job is no longer possible, or necessary for me.  When we get back from Texas at the end of April, we're moving to Asheville NC.
Welcome to the world of Free Agency :-)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- The Convocation Is At Hand
Post by: Eddie on April 01, 2014, 06:30:28 AM
 I went out to the stead after work to work on the bathroom. I'm happy to announce I am one supply hose and one shower curtain away from having a new, fully functional facility. Now I just need to clean up my construction mess and give the cabin a quick once-over cleaning.

Things i didn't get done because I ran out of time:

I didn't make any dump runs, so the greenhouse is a bit of a mess and full of crap that needs to be hauled off.

I didn't replace the two cracked windows.

I didn't complete the outdoor shower, although the foundation is being laid. Did somebody say they wanted to dig holes?

I do have the Bug-Out PV Kit set up and charging the batteries, but I seem to have a wiring glitch in the AC plug.

I still have to run out to the lake house and load the big smoker.

I still have to grocery shop. i have to get beer.

It shall be done.

Welcome, Diners, to the Toothstead!



Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- The Convocation Is At Hand
Post by: Petty Tyrant on April 01, 2014, 09:22:26 AM
I went out to the stead after work to work on the bathroom. I'm happy to announce I am one supply hose and one shower curtain away from having a new, fully functional facility. Now I just need to clean up my construction mess and give the cabin a quick once-over cleaning.

Things i didn't get done because I ran out of time:

I didn't make any dump runs, so the greenhouse is a bit of a mess and full of crap that needs to be hauled off.

I didn't replace the two cracked windows.

I didn't complete the outdoor shower, although the foundation is being laid. Did somebody say they wanted to dig holes?

I do have the Bug-Out PV Kit set up and charging the batteries, but I seem to have a wiring glitch in the AC plug.

I still have to run out to the lake house and load the big smoker.

I still have to grocery shop. i have to get beer.

It shall be done.

Welcome, Diners, to the Toothstead!

You dont delegate anything do you ed?  Its ok to hire someone sometimes, trying hard not to apply profiling from this LOL! But Im sure the sunsteaders will appreciate the comfortable stay, we will be watching.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 01, 2014, 11:02:48 AM
The logistics involved make hiring someone a pain in the ass. I have a handy man I use in the city, but nobody wants to make a fifty mile drive one way anymore for a piss-ant job. I did get one of the kid's boyfriends to help me on a couple of Saturdays.

I need a permanent resident caretaker type, I could keep somebody busy full time, but hiring employees is also a pain in the ass, because of the gov't paperwork and taxes. And it's expensive. And I have trust issues....:)

I'm not quite as anal as it might seem. I'm ready to get 'er done so I can relax and enjoy the party.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on April 01, 2014, 03:46:21 PM
Should I bring my big tent?  It will cost $50 since it is an extra piece of luggage.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 01, 2014, 05:48:10 PM
I don't think we will really need it. The weather is about perfect for sleeping out on the deck.

Bring a sleeping bag if it isn't too much trouble.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: GypsyMama on May 14, 2014, 08:19:31 PM
The weather is about perfect for sleeping out on the deck.

;)  Proven to be true.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on January 05, 2015, 04:16:38 AM
Here is the simple house my new neighbors made out of a shipping container as we were discussing in knarfs newz; I think they should have lined the inside with 'drywall' to look better and better insulation, but this is a tempory dwelling while they build also a strawbale house.

You see how the triangle bath/shower is in the kitchen corner but not in the way, the compost toilet is outside but undercover, that little electric pump cost about 100$ but gives heaps of pressure, electricity is from generator, theres a sliding glass door inside the shipping container 'barn doors' and a bed behind that, also the posts that support the roof going over the container are from the surrounding trees and about 10x stronger than ordinary posts. Of course u cannot collect runoff water from a container so making that roof and outside area over the container they collect the water to fill the tank. Also notice the outside furnace oven made from an old gas cylinder that is plenty warm to stand around and also can cook in or on. This is a temporary dwelling while building a strawbale house but Its so sturdy it will still probably be there in 200 years.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on January 05, 2015, 07:32:39 AM
Is your water from catchment as well, UB? In general, how is water where you are. Do people drill wells?

Very nice little house, from the shipping container, drywall or no.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on January 06, 2015, 09:52:39 PM
Is your water from catchment as well, UB? In general, how is water where you are. Do people drill wells?

Very nice little house, from the shipping container, drywall or no.


Mainly only on close to the coast large farms have they sunk bores, the rest take from the river. Also only one of my neighbors has a bore, who is on about the same elevation as me, but their pump is a bit lower down. Everyone else not connected to scheme water has rainwater. eg I have two 25K litre tanks and thats plenty for house needs for an average family because it rains often. For farms there are many creeks and springs and dams are the most common. A nearby cherry orchard farmer told me he rarely irrigates. I will get a bulldozer to come and dig a dam when Im ready to plant all the trees still in pots for now. There is a spring just over the fence and if I dug a well there it would not need to g down far at all, but that is at the bottom and I want the water at the top where the orchard and garden are not down the bottom and the water has to then be brought up to the top.

Also to give an idea of the general level of intelligence and competence across the board of those born and (in)bred here, yesterday there was an angry mob outside the post office of the nearest 1/4  horse town. Yesteray was the 6th of january and they all got a leter from the waterworks saying not to drink the water without boiling it first or bathing babies in case they swallowed it etc. NO explanation whats in the water. The letters were dated......

22nd Dcember, 17 days before they were posted. So theres a meeting tuesday night to find out WTF is going on. Apperently its not the first time or at all unusual. The water comes from the river and which is lined with crops and cattle and sheep all along. They drank the water straight up untreated from the river without any health warnings at all until some years ago a filtration and chlorination system was installed and since then they have the problems, but not prior to, hahahha!
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on January 07, 2015, 05:56:35 AM
It's increasingly important for all of us to filter our water. Interestingly, our pets can tell the difference between tap water and filtered water here, and they seem to greatly prefer the water that's been through the Berkey. I'm talking about the same dogs that will swallow a treat whole before they even know what it tasted like, and gobble up anything spilled in the kitchen.

It didn't take too long for them to figure out there was a difference in the water, though. Even the cat.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Karpatok on January 07, 2015, 07:28:30 AM
It's increasingly important for all of us to filter our water. Interestingly, our pets can tell the difference between tap water and filtered water here, and they seem to greatly prefer the water that's been through the Berkey. I'm talking about the same dogs that will swallow a treat whole before they even know what it tasted like, and gobble up anything spilled in the kitchen.

It didn't take too long for them to figure out there was a difference in the water, though. Even the cat.
    Please let me tell you that it is also true of the wild animals that I feed and water at my back patio.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on January 07, 2015, 01:29:11 PM
It's increasingly important for all of us to filter our water. Interestingly, our pets can tell the difference between tap water and filtered water here, and they seem to greatly prefer the water that's been through the Berkey. I'm talking about the same dogs that will swallow a treat whole before they even know what it tasted like, and gobble up anything spilled in the kitchen.

It didn't take too long for them to figure out there was a difference in the water, though. Even the cat.
    Please let me tell you that it is also true of the wild animals that I feed and water at my back patio.

My dog will not drink water from a galvanised metal bucket.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: luciddreams on January 07, 2015, 07:13:54 PM
How bout a picture of the hugel bed I made for you?  Did any of the clover rescued from the freezer sprout?  How bout the gray water snake head hole I dug for the stead.  Is it still there?  Did you fill it in? 
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on January 07, 2015, 07:42:03 PM
The grey water sump seemed to be a mud risk, so I took Alice down to the creek and scooped up a load of gravel and rocks and lined it. I think it added a nice touch. I just haven't used it much at all this year.

The hugel bed seemed to want to raise weeds this first year, so I let it. It's been wet lately so maybe year two will shows something.

I put up three deer feeders and a protein block feeder and a turkey feeder. Tons of deer this fall, but I didn't hunt. Probably should have just to thin the herd. We're overpopulated, I think. The turkey feeder has not attracted any birds yet, so I'm going to move it soon, if nothing changes.

I also put up this small water catchment system for wildlife. It's kind of cool.

I feel bad for not getting the aquaponics system up yet. No excuse.

I've been photographing birds.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on January 12, 2015, 05:05:21 PM
I was out to the stead yesterday. I picked up the Kubota from the shop, where it's been,seems like forever. Since before the convocation. And for the first time in maybe  a couple of years, the swimming hole is full. All the way up to the top of those flat rocks.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/15266721299/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/15266721299/)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: GypsyMama on February 14, 2015, 08:25:51 AM
I was out to the stead yesterday. I picked up the Kubota from the shop, where it's been,seems like forever. Since before the convocation. And for the first time in maybe  a couple of years, the swimming hole is full. All the way up to the top of those flat rocks.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/15266721299/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/15266721299/)

I'm happy to know that all of the rain dancing, good intentions and energy that the team put toward bringing water to the stead seems to have worked ;)  xoxo
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 14, 2015, 12:45:43 PM
Some recent creek pics, if the link works today. Somebody tell me if it isn't working.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/sets/72157650407959678/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/sets/72157650407959678/)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on February 14, 2015, 01:03:10 PM
Some recent creek pics, if the link works today. Somebody tell me if it isn't working.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/sets/72157650407959678/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/sets/72157650407959678/)

Looks like a creek.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 14, 2015, 01:07:21 PM
Ah, thanks. The point being it isn't a DRY creek at the moment, which makes me happy.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: GypsyMama on February 14, 2015, 01:33:26 PM
Some recent creek pics, if the link works today. Somebody tell me if it isn't working.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/sets/72157650407959678/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/sets/72157650407959678/)

It is looking really beautiful out there :)  It looks like the water has been in the creek long enough for some slimy goodness to form at the bottom.  Wonderful!
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: agelbert on February 14, 2015, 03:19:29 PM
Eddie said,
Quote
Some recent creek pics, if the link works today. Somebody tell me if it isn't working.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/sets/72157650407959678/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/sets/72157650407959678/)

That water certainly is crystal clear! Is that normal?

I remember a lot of algae and small plants like duckweed in ponds and slow moving creeks from my youth in Kansas. I could not see the bottom except for a few inches from the edge in a pond at Fort Leavenworth where would fish for sunfish.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 14, 2015, 04:06:41 PM
That water certainly is crystal clear! Is that normal?

Yes, it's the limestone. That water is what brought me to this country to live in the first place. Me and a lot of other people. It's sad to live in the drought years when it's not around. Central Texas is known for it's clear creeks and rivers. My little creek is a tributary of the Lampasas River.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: agelbert on February 14, 2015, 04:08:27 PM
That water certainly is crystal clear! Is that normal?

Eddie said,
Quote
Yes, it's the limestone. That water is what brought me to this country to live in the first place. Me and a lot of other people. It's sad to live in the drought years when it's not around. Central Texas is known for it's clear creeks and rivers. My little creek is a tributary of the Lampasas River.

Thanks for info, Eddie.  :emthup: :icon_sunny:
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 17, 2015, 08:04:05 AM
I am happy that teacher daughter has taken to gardening. This winter she has more or less kept the garden going without my help, watering, weeding, and experimenting with a new winter crop, carrots, which don't grow super well here, but can be kept alive all winter...at least a winter like this year, with a few hard freezes and lots of days in the high 30s F.

I jumped in a few weeks back and started building more beds. I built a 16 ft x 2ft herb bed, roughly 8 inches deep, out of some old lumber from the salvaged old dock at the lake house. We lined that one with heavy pond liner. So far it's a little on the wet side, but I expect the liner will help out a lot as it gets into summer.

I had accumulated some more lumber last year, and Sunday I finally cut out and screwed together two new 4ft square raised beds identical to the ones already in the garden, and cut out another, yet to be assembled. It's my aim to build at least one more, but I ran out of boards. I intend to put a six inch pond liner on the bottom of all the new beds, which are 18 inches tall, but end up with maybe 12-14 inches of soil after it settles.

Saturday, the day before, I slept in...but late in the day singer daughter's BF accompanied me out to the stead, and we used the Kubota tractor with it's front-end loader to harvest the leaves and twigs and limbs accumulated against the low water crossing after the winter rains. I piled them up in the field that I think of as Gene's orchard, with the pecan trees planted by the former owner, which are still hanging in there even though I haven't watered them. In time I expect to build some hugelculture beds with the organic bounty of the creek. Any spare carbon is welcome in these rocky hills.

Afterwards we took a little target practice with the .22's and the air guns. I shot a clip of 7.62 Tokarevs, but was immediately reminded that I forgot to bring ear protection, so I let that suffice. The small calibers are so much more user friendly, and generally a lot more useful in hunting circumstances.

Yesterday after work I swung by a new gun store in the burb where I work. It's a corporate store, and they must have had a thousand guns for sale, and aisles and aisles of ammo, all expensive as hell. Bubbas and Bubette's and little Bubbas were busy ooh-ing and ah-ing over the merchandise.

I'm in the market for a shotgun, but most of what they had was that useless crap referred to as "tactical", which all looks alike, short pump guns with pistol grips, overpriced and not good for much. They did have a Barrett .50, which I admit to coveting slightly, if only because I want to own something the government is afraid of me owning. But with my .45/70's, I can't see spending the money for another big caliber rifle that isn't good for much either, other than playing American Sniper out on the ranch.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 07, 2015, 07:44:43 AM
Yesterday I had a phone conversation with a steel building supplier. I explained the design I have in mind for the new building, which I'm tentatively calling  "The Harvester".  They're going to draw a design and give me an estimate for the metal. Steel seems like the easiest way to frame this.

My back-of-the-napkin numbers....a 1600 ft2 roof will give me space for at least 60 PV panels of the size I've been accumulating. At 250W per panel, that's a 15kW system that will give 75kWHrs on a sunny day.

That's enough to think about a grid-tie to help pay for the system, even though my real long term plan is off-grid. You can design for either/or. A big expensive inverter is required for the grid-tie, and the system would have to pass muster with the rural electric co-op. I haven't decided on that, but it's worth thinking about.

The main thing is that the system would need to be easily converted to off-grid, which would mean batteries. The dream system would be nickle-iron batteries installed but left dry until such time as they would be needed. Also expensive but worth considering.

I don't think there's any way to come close to storing all the power such a robust system would produce, so in peak sun hours some dump loads could be engineered in for storing coolth, which would involve AC and indoor thermal mass.

The thermal mass is the part of the design I'm still working on. Since I have ample free rocks, some kind of huge rock hearth might be the way to go. The slab will need to be designed to support that, if I want to do it right.

I have no idea how much water I can harvest here off 1600 ft2. Maybe I can find some kind of online estimator.

I walked the site yesterday.I like the way it looks. The view should be awesome, and the topography is good for some water tanks that can be maybe 6 ft below the grade of the building without having to excavate, due to the bluff, which has a single stair step off the top plateau.



Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 07, 2015, 07:50:51 AM
The steel guy got back to me. Without getting into serious engineering costs, it looks like the best way to go is to do a 5 pitch on the roof, which amounts to a 22.5 degree slope. that means the panels will have to be tilted 7 or 8 degrees.

Hopefully I can get some metal estimates and then talk to one of the contractors who put these buildings up in my area. Then I can make some reasonable projections as to cost.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 07, 2015, 08:38:27 AM
Turns out there are various formulas for calculating rainwater catchment off a roof, but it look like an average 33 inch rainfall year might net something like 30,000 gallons off a 1600 ft2 roof.

So 2500 gallons per month, if I can build enough storage to save it all. Of course, here it comes in occasional storms, with lots of dry days in between.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on April 07, 2015, 11:15:01 AM
i cant imagine what you would use the juice of 60  panels for especially in a sunny location. sounds like a dam or big tanks are a higher priority.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 07, 2015, 12:30:59 PM
I probably won't start with 60 panels installed. But I might if I do the grid tie, just to see how much power I can sell back.

A large BAU house in this climate can easily burn up 100 kWHrs/day, btw. Not that I need another one of those.

I'm just trying to explore the limits of this design, what you can get out of it. You can always use extra electric power for something. The idea of this building is to maximize the power and the water benefits.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: agelbert on April 07, 2015, 12:40:44 PM
i cant imagine what you would use the juice of 60  panels for especially in a sunny location. sounds like a dam or big tanks are a higher priority.

I can.  :icon_mrgreen:

If the relative humidity is more than desert conditions (i.e. greater than 23%), you can use electricity to extract water from the air.  :emthup:

THAT water can then drip irrigate (Israeli desert fashion - pipes about one foot below the surface with small holes) the landscape, green it, and prevent further topsoil blow off AND evaporation of groundwater that lowers the water table level.  8)

The green landscape (NOT from the color - it's a series of chemical reactions in the air) actually foments the formation of clouds, by the way. That is why desertification promotes MORE desertification. The first step in preventing desertification is to stop the sun from heating the landscape. It's been done with cheap cardboard!  :o

The other steps involve water, plants, fungi and ruminants.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 07, 2015, 01:13:53 PM
Good idea. Everybody here is switching to drip irrigation already. And humidity here is often in excess of 50%, so the technology is appropriate.

You could also use the water to make what's called a "water wall" in the greenhouse for summer cooling. Basically a giant swamp cooler for the plants.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on April 07, 2015, 01:52:30 PM
Putting up all 60 panels seems like overkill.

Why not just put up 20 amd keep the other 40 in storage, in case of a Tornado or Hailstorm etc?

If you are going to put up all 60, how about a pumping system to pump the water up to tanks on the top of the bluff, then you could run a microhydro system to generate power on the way down when the sun goes down.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 07, 2015, 03:30:27 PM
I'll probably start with 20, because that's how many I happen to already have on hand, and there are many other things to buy, before the first watt of power comes on line. Eventually, though, it seems like it might be good to have the whole roof covered. The panels will actually shade the real roof and reduce the heat radiated into the structure, for one thing.

Some panels held in storage...to me that's like...like......GOLD!
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 07, 2015, 03:50:49 PM
Steel company says materials for the basic building with a steel skin, no windows, would be 14K. He gave me the name of some erectors, whom I will contact tomorrow.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: agelbert on April 07, 2015, 10:33:42 PM
Eddie said,
Quote
You could also use the water to make what's called a "water wall" in the greenhouse for summer cooling. Basically a giant swamp cooler for the plants.
(http://www.pic4ever.com/images/8.gif)

I recommend you avoid giving GO ulcers by mentioning solar panels are like GOLD.  (http://www.pic4ever.com/images/4fvfcja.gif)

But just between you and me and the fence post, I believe solar panels in storage are even BETTER than gold!  :emthup: :emthup: :emthup: :icon_sunny:





Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 10, 2015, 05:35:09 PM
Some current pics of the backyard gardens.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8820/16480897324_a4e1399733.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/r7mUA9)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/r7mUA9) by etennison (https://www.flickr.com/people/52157490@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8803/16895944847_cf48f1a69e.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/rK38KV)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/rK38KV) by etennison (https://www.flickr.com/people/52157490@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7676/16895943707_3924acdf95.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/rK38qg)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/rK38qg) by etennison (https://www.flickr.com/people/52157490@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7633/17103328065_8f625aed5f.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/s4n2yD)


Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/s4n2yD) by etennison (https://www.flickr.com/people/52157490@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8723/16915541028_965b6d341a.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/rLLz27)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/rLLz27) by etennison (https://www.flickr.com/people/52157490@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7594/17077361006_0789776dd8.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/s24WsJ)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/s24WsJ) by etennison (https://www.flickr.com/people/52157490@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7633/17103324185_4fa6aae1a2.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/s4n1pK)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/s4n1pK) by etennison (https://www.flickr.com/people/52157490@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7663/16917122339_ed1bb38610.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/rLUF66)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/rLUF66) by etennison (https://www.flickr.com/people/52157490@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7702/16917121399_f8672a8cc1.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/rLUENT)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/rLUENT) by etennison (https://www.flickr.com/people/52157490@N04/), on Flickr(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7594/17077355386_bc8a455943.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/s24UMQ)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/s24UMQ) by etennison (https://www.flickr.com/people/52157490@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7617/16916270390_afe594b77c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/rLQiQj)IMG_0331 (https://flic.kr/p/rLQiQj) by etennison (https://www.flickr.com/people/52157490@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7623/17103189561_2b780daef2.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/s4mjoD)IMG_0332 (https://flic.kr/p/s4mjoD) by etennison (https://www.flickr.com/people/52157490@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7702/17077850806_b664e4752a.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/s27s4y)IMG_0328 (https://flic.kr/p/s27s4y) by etennison (https://www.flickr.com/people/52157490@N04/), on Flickr


(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8739/16483745763_ca1d194331.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/r7Bvka)IMG_0334 (https://flic.kr/p/r7Bvka) by etennison (https://www.flickr.com/people/52157490@N04/), on Flickr





Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on April 10, 2015, 06:10:36 PM
So how much Edibles actually come out of the Backyard Garden?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 10, 2015, 06:21:30 PM
So far, greens are the only daily staple that I feel like are a reasonable daily ongoing contribution to the food supply. That and onions and herbs.

The plan is to try to continue to devote more beds to perennials and hardy annuals that will live more than one growing season. Asparagus, collard greens. Kale. Chard.

We had a lot of turnips over the winter. That might become the bulk staple vegetable in an emergency. I confess most them went uneaten.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 10, 2015, 06:27:56 PM
If I eventually sell the house, all those beds are going to the stead, dirt and all. It's all designed to be moved,with the exception of the keyhole garden. The kids built that one.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on April 10, 2015, 06:28:39 PM
So far, greens are the only daily staple that I feel like are a reasonable daily ongoing contribution to the food supply. That and onions and herbs.

The plan is to try to continue to devote more beds to perennials and hardy annuals that will live more than one growing season. Asparagus, collard greens. Kale. Chard.

We had a lot of turnips over the winter. That might become the bulk staple vegetable in an emergency. I confess most them went uneaten.

Seems like you need something more Calorie Dense here on the Energy level.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 10, 2015, 06:40:08 PM
I keep wondering if I could get chickens past the HOA board. Urban chicken farming is fashionable here, but there's always some jerky neighbor who complains about anything and everything.

I suppose feeding out a couple of hogs would be out of the question.

(I'm thinking you could train pigs to stay inside the invisible electric fence like the dogs....put shock collars on 'em. The dogs would probably teach them to chase cars.)

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on April 10, 2015, 06:54:17 PM
I keep wondering if I could get chickens past the HOA board. Urban chicken farming is fashionable here, but there's always some jerky neighbor who complains about anything and everything.

A real nice Feature of the interview with td0s was the Rooster Crowing in the background.  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: azozeo on April 11, 2015, 09:46:09 AM
I keep wondering if I could get chickens past the HOA board. Urban chicken farming is fashionable here, but there's always some jerky neighbor who complains about anything and everything.



mine shafts & bags of lime solve jerky neighbor issues Ed.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 19, 2015, 01:09:25 PM
We had a spring hail storm here last night. As we were driving back from the airport after picking up a visitor, we got a text from one of the daughters that it was hailing at our house in the burbs.

Within a minute or two we drove right into the storm, and visibility on the busy parkway dropped to nearly zero within seconds, and hailstones the size of a nickel began to pound the car. I pulled over but the hail was coming down so hard I decided to creep ahead with flashers on. We made it a mile or so, and took shelter under an awning at an elementary school our kids once attended.At that point the ground looked white, and the road was slick with ice.

We got out of the car and watched. It ended quickly and the hail melted off in a a few minutes. The ambient temperature, though, dropped perhaps 20 degrees, and we got back in the car and cranked up the heat as we drove home through what was left of the storm, which had diminished to a steady rain.

The garden sustained moderate damage, and some replanting will be going on today. It wasn't quite as bad as I expected. The roads all over this part of town are covered with fresh green leaves pounded from the trees by the storm.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: agelbert on April 19, 2015, 01:28:43 PM
We had a spring hail storm here last night. As we were driving back from the airport after picking up a visitor, we got a text from one of the daughters that it was hailing at our house in the burbs.

Within a minute or two we drove right into the storm, and visibility on the busy parkway dropped to nearly zero within seconds, and hailstones the size of a nickel began to pound the car. I pulled over but the hail was coming down so hard I decided to creep ahead with flashers on. We made it a mile or so, and took shelter under an awning at an elementary school our kids once attended.At that point the ground looked white, and the road was slick with ice.

We got out of the car and watched. It ended quickly and the hail melted off in a a few minutes. The ambient temperature, though, dropped perhaps 20 degrees, and we got back in the car and cranked up the heat as we drove home through what was left of the storm, which had diminished to a steady rain.

The garden sustained moderate damage, and some replanting will be going on today. It wasn't quite as bad as I expected. The roads all over this part of town are covered with fresh green leaves pounded from the trees by the storm.
Yikes!  (http://www.createaforum.com/gallery/renewablerevolution/3-300714025456.bmp)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Bee Goods
Post by: Eddie on April 19, 2015, 02:15:08 PM
I ordered three new full hives of bees. Last time out, I ordered what are called Nucs, which are partial hives. From the get go I had problems with these previously disturbed and reassembled  starter colonies. They immediately attacked each other and tried to rob each other's hives, even though I restricted the hive openings as recommended.

So many unforeseen problems that summer. A terrible ant problem, as sugar ants appeared out of nowhere and drowned in my top feeders by the thousands. Intense heat and drought, with no rain at all, and no honey flows. It's a miracle I still had one colony that bailed on the Langstroth box and moved into the roof space over the cabin. Only the strong survived, I guess, and I'm glad they did. But some day they may become Africanized, and if they do (likely, over time) then I'll be forced to root them out and relocate them, re-queening the hive.

So far they seem to still have the mellow Italian queen I bought for them, and I've never been stung, although I'd suit up fully if I had to confront them on their home turf, as it were.

Anyway small scale bee raising is helpful to cope with CCD, and it's a win/win here in Texas, because it qualifies you for the all import an "AG Exemption" to sales taxes for farm goods and tools. I have a card I carry in my wallet that says "Texas Agriculture or Timber Registration" and the number printed on it is worth 6.25% (8.25% in the city) off the ordinarily taxable transaction.

There are a lots of other agricultural pursuits that can qualify you for the tax exemption, but in terms of outlay of money and time required to stay in business, bee keeping seems to be by far the easiest.

So I will try again. It's been a wet spring and the bees at the stead are thriving. It'll be June 11th when I get the new hives, though. By then it may be hot and dry again. This time I will place the hives in a completely different spot than before. I'll put them in the shade for one thing, and try to figure out some kind of water trap to keep the ants out. In order to have a mite problem that requires my attention, they at least have to live more than the first month. I hope they live long enough for me to count mites.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: agelbert on April 19, 2015, 02:19:18 PM
Quote
Anyway small scale bee raising is helpful to cope with CCD, and it's a win/win here in Texas, because it qualifies you for the all import an "AG Exemption" to sales taxes for farm goods and tools.

 :emthup:  :icon_mrgreen:
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Bee Goods
Post by: RE on April 19, 2015, 02:20:58 PM
I ordered three new full hives of bees.

How much does a Hive cost?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: agelbert on April 19, 2015, 02:26:38 PM
(http://www.pic4ever.com/images/170fs799081.gif)

Quote
I have had a little ant fight this year.   I placed my apiary at a place where I later discovered there was a ant hive 10-15 meters away.  I used the oil can trick which worked very well (except it drowned a lot of hevy loaded bees that hit the oil).

I got a tip from a seasoned beekeeper that said flour in a ring around the bee hive could help as ants don't like walking on flour.  I guess this will only help if it is dry and no rain.  I have never tried this and can't say how well it works.

I don't know what kind of ants you have there, but the "forrest ants" we've got here in Norway eat the larvae, and if the problem is huge enough, they destroy a hive in a few days.  The problems persists until the ants find other food sources in late may.  Strong hives usually handles the ants, but the weak don't.  A lot of ants inside the hive is a very bad sign.  But again; this is the theory of the ants we've got in Norway.  Hard to say about yours as I don't know the differences of the ant species.

(http://www.pic4ever.com/images/reading.gif)

http://www.beemaster.com/forum/index.php?topic=15579.0 (http://www.beemaster.com/forum/index.php?topic=15579.0)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 19, 2015, 02:29:23 PM
I had to pay $375 a hive, but these are bees that have been bred for mite resistance and never exposed to chemicals. Several years ago the apiary in question decided to select for mite resistance by letting a large percentage of their stock perish and only keeping the hives that were able to fight off the mites without human intervention.

It's still a reasonable price, provided I can get them past the first year.

You can buy bees three ways. The cheapest is to buy a box of bees with no hive, with a queen you introduce. They next more expensive way is buy the Nucs, (also with a queen in a separate container) as i did before. It's not always easy to find full hives, but right now they're available here. Your chances for success are greatly enhanced that way. At least I hope they are.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 19, 2015, 02:36:13 PM
Thanks for the link AG. I will read that. The ants worry me the most. Here i had trouble with what are locally known as sugar ants. The fire ants, that attack me in the garden and try to live in my raised beds, did not seem to be the problem.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: agelbert on April 19, 2015, 03:19:26 PM
Quote
Thanks for the link AG. I will read that. The ants worry me the most. Here i had trouble with what are locally known as sugar ants. The fire ants, that attack me in the garden and try to live in my raised beds, did not seem to be the problem

You are welcome. Let us know who it works out this summer.  8)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 28, 2015, 05:45:29 AM
I ran across a guy selling some used solar gear on CL and I picked up a very good charge controller, an 800 ah battery bank of fairly recent vintage, and the bread board with breakers installed, 4-0 battery cables included.

Buying used batteries is a crapshoot, so I don't expect much there, but the price was good and I'd have paid more new for the other stuff without the batteries. If the batteries do turn out to be useable, I should be able to build out another  1900 watt array without buying anything else other than maybe some wire and mounts.

First thing is to disassemble the battery bank and load test the individual batteries. I've been reading up on this, and I already have a carbon pile load tester. This will be good practice, at least.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Making Lists
Post by: Eddie on April 30, 2015, 06:54:20 AM
The hardest thing is just staying focused. There is always some minor crisis to suck my energy, it seems like, usually financial in nature. For the past year I've been down to one college student to support, but I haven't noticed much a of a dividend.

Business revenue continues to modestly decline, primarily because the state is trying to balance the healthcare books on the backs of us providers. We never know what new tactic that the "managed care" insurance companies will dream up to screw us. Every month there's something that suddenly isn't being paid for anymore. No pretense of fairness. The insurance giants have us at their mercy. Every year we work harder and longer for less pay. I'm grateful to have work, but you have to collect the money or you slowly go broke. This is the future for my career.

So I work my day job 36 hours a week, most weeks. I've also been doing a lot of training, which is expensive, but necessary to keep up with changes in my field. I've taken six days of training so far this year and will do at least four more, at a cost of close to $100K counting lost revenue from days off work. As I approach  sixty, I now consider what it would be like to retire, all the while knowing that if and when that time comes, my comfortable lifestyle will immediately and permanently be over. So the real plan is to work until I can't. The best dentist I know is about 80...but if the eyes or the hands go, it's over.

I try to keep prepping for a lower energy future. I have now gathered the basic parts for another solar array project. Since I haven't built a building yet for the array to be mounted on, I'm thinking that I will build this 2000 watt system on a ground mount beside my long ignored greenhouse, and see if I can begin to harness the sun to heat and cool it, and run some aquaponics beds I've also built but never put into service. It's all on me. If I do it, it gets done. If I don't.... it doesn't.

 Like I said, it's about staying focused and taking small steps. It's easy to be lazy, because it's cheaper and easier, still, to buy food from the grocery store than it is to grow it. Hot water still comes out of the tap. Power from the grid is cheaper than the power I make. It's more fun to sail the lake this time of year than it is to dig post holes.

I'm thinking about moving to the stead to live at least part time, soon. For the moment, it will mean living alone, because my wife and family are not on board with that decision. Still, I think my projects will begin to take shape a lot better if I spend my after-work hours on the land on a more daily basis. My daughter is taking care of the gardens at the house in town, which will free me up from the daily watering that's required here to grow outdoors.

I'm constantly making lists these days. Making lists and crossing off things I absolutely have to get done. One list finished, another started. It seems endless, and I guess it is. Sometimes I feel like I know how Noah must have felt. I just hope my prepping pays off eventually. If not for me, then for the kids.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 03, 2015, 09:52:59 AM
My handy-dandy 1000 amp carbon pile battery load tester arrived from Amazonia yesterday, and I wasted no time in risking life and limb by hooking it up to those big 210 Ah Lifelines and cranking the knob to 800 amps, (half the rated cold cranking amps) for 15 seconds.

None of them kept a voltage of 9.6Volts, so if I had been testing a car battery I'd have to have said they were bad...but the truth is that they were able to sustain a lower challenge of 200 amps and stay above 10.5 for well over 15 seconds, and 200 amps of instantaneous draw is a huge load for an off  grid home...so I think they have some useful life left, I'm just not sure how much. I ran across another testing modality, which is to hook up a ten amp draw (rig some 12V lights, basically) and empirically determine now long they stay bright, checking the voltage as the battery gives up its electrons....a simpler test and maybe more useful.

The guy I bought them from has listed the rest of his gear on CL (no doubt encouraged that some other patsy like me is out there, LOL)....another 4 Lifelines, another good charge controller, and even a decent inverter, also all prewired and tested, having been in service at his house. I might buy the rest of it, which would allow me to build a system using almost all my panels.

Meanwhile, I had to get four more trickle chargers to keep the batteries I already bought up to full voltage. Harbor freight sells them for $9, but I know from past experience that the wiring on their el cheapos will not hold up to outdoor sun, so they absolutely can't sit in the driveway all summer. I have to get going on this project and complete it soon.

Even if these batteries have only a year or two of life left, it will get me past the zero point and I will have a real system with 4000 plus watts, as opposed to the 360 watt system I built last time (which is still keeping  the golf cart batteries up to float after a year). By the time they go bad maybe I will have figured out a way to lay on some Nickel-Iron replacements. Like most big projects, it's the cost of buying everything at once that is so prohibitive, and buying used is a way to lower the entry fee. I can upgrade later, if there is a later.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on May 03, 2015, 10:00:25 AM
if u can get fresh acid u might be able to restore the batteries better.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 03, 2015, 10:04:17 AM
These are AGM's so you aren't supposed to be able to add or change electrolyte. I'm not sure if that's true, strictly speaking. More research needed.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 11, 2015, 07:57:04 AM
I recently submitted my annual update for my wildlife tax exemption for the stead, something that takes a bit of work.  It's very important to maintain this exemption, because if it's denied, I also lose my agricultural exemption for the property, which would automatically make me responsible for five years in back taxes at the new, higher rate.

Not sure why that is, but it's true, at least here in Texas. Elderly rural Texans get in tax trouble all the time. I used to know a lawyer who made his living working for county governments, throwing people off their land for back taxes. It's a real issue.

So I was stunned to receive a certified letter from the county appraisal district last Friday informing me that MY ag exemption had been cancelled. I fretted about it all weekend, and this morning early I logged on to the appraisal district website and saw that I was being dunned for a little over $10,000 in back taxes. Penalties to accrue if not paid by July 1.

Talk about needing emergency cash.

I thought I knew what had happened. In my rush to get the report mailed on time, I forgot to sign it, and a few days later it was returned. I wasted no time in adding the requisite John Henry and had an employee make a special trip to the post office to mail it back, still several days ahead of the deadline....

I just knew it had been lost in the mail. Looking back, I should have sent it certified, or hand delivered it. Live and learn...sometimes the hard way.

So...with trepidation I picked up the phone and called the CAD office. I was careful to be polite, and I explained I had gotten the notice, and that I wanted to know the stated reason for the loss of the exemption, so that I could... I didn't say "file a protest"...just said so I could make the proper response.

The lady on the phone said, "It looks like we haven't gotten your annual wildlife exemption report". I started into my explanation and she stopped me and said she'd transfer me to the person handling the reports....I was put on hold for a minute.

And then the second lady came on the line. She started making an explanation of her own...seems like somebody made a MISTAKE. She was so sorry,and thanked me for alerting them to my situation right away. They would correct the error and mail me a proof of the correction.

So... for a Monday, it's been a pretty good day, so far.


Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 16, 2015, 12:17:04 PM
I got the steel brackets I ordered that will be the most important non-generic component of my solar array mounts. I emailed the eBay seller and asked him if he will be selling more, or if this is just the end of a lot. I'd like to get some more. If I can't get more from him, I'll keep trying to source them elsewhere. Basically, they are just a stamped steel quarter-inch flat plate with one edge angled 90 degrees and  some holes laser cut for mounting. Looks like any modern machine shop with a good brake press and cad cam machines could spit them out by the thousands. Not sure why they're hard to find. Probably because the DIY solar market is infinitesimally small.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on May 16, 2015, 01:42:37 PM
Before u start i can point out some things ive learned from my system if u like.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 17, 2015, 01:24:03 PM
I would like, very much. Thanks.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on May 17, 2015, 02:17:34 PM
I would like, very much. Thanks.

Putting the panels up higher is more important if u have tall trees nearby and u live closer to the poles thsn the tropics. Because even though the trees are at least 50m away because they are tall,  in winter months the sun before midday  is not as overhead but more to the side. If the panels were up high on top of the two story house im sure the trees could not cast shadow in morning hours.

Also they cant be stolen from up higher like that as easily.

Its not true that ac power doesnt matter how long the wiring all is. I started with just an 8 outlet power board in one place. It was ok. I still had the seperate system originally here for the lights. But that had started getting weak and i thought it was the controller causing it . It was good because with the seperate system for the lights if i ran out if power i still had lights. The original small system has the panel up high on top of the house so it gets more sun in winter.

it turned out there was nothing wrong with the switch controller but i ruined the deep cycle batteries by not putting water in. I wanted to keep the seperate system with the small inverter and dc lights because as i said it gave light when the power went off from the big system so i replaced the two 6v big batteries with a single big 12v and u can leave the lights on all night no problem. In my defense the batteries i let run dry dont have screw caps but a flat plate that u pick off with s screwdriver to add water and it looked like a no maintenance.

So i had a bunch of wall outlets for power added and switches for lights And new lights connected to the 24v ac power Because i dudnt like plugging in cords to run things away from the 8 socket. This then shortened the time after cloudy weather that the bstteries lasted. They ran the wiring through the walls so its not like theres two light bulbs side by side in each room instead theres the 12v dc in the middle of the ceiling and the 24v ac one on the wall.

The thing is since having all that done i run out of power sooner after cloudy days. I am kicking myself not buying a 1000w 120v kettle or two in the us because they would not go off in the morning after a cloudy previous day like the 2200w 240v kettles we have that boil faster.

SO power going off in the morning before the sun comes out is a problem. U can go turn it back on but u cant use anything like a toaster or kettle or maybe even microwave sometimes. DO u want to start the generator and recharge the batteries in the morning when u dont have much time. No. What u can do instead is turn the power off on the inverter before going to bed and when u get up in the morning turn it on, that way the inverter hasnt been providing power nobody is using during the night and the batteries have plenty of power in the morning when u need it. The waco fridge doesnt change temp much at all maybe a couple of degrees being off at night.  By having the seperate light system its no problem to get up for a piss in the night and put a log in the heater without stumbling around in the dark. If i didnt have the seperate system i could keep a torch by the bed. If the previous day was semi sunny its not necessary to do this.

if u dont want to do that u can anticipate the power possibly going off in the morning and charge up in the evening beforehand. It takes only about 15 minutes with a 5000w generator but for some reason does not go past 25.8v Wheras charging from the panels goes up to 26.5v And thats a max 2000w going in.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 20, 2015, 06:17:20 AM
I promised a plug for the guys who sold me the awesome steel brackets that I'm using to build my ground mount arrays.

 As I said before, there are several companies that make solar array mounts, but they are very expensive for what they are (approaching the cost of the panels themselves for the typical installation). For this reason I see a lot of DIY types building mounts out of 2X4's, welded pipe, and all kinds of jury rigged stuff.

The guys I bought my mounting hardware from, it turns out, are a couple of engineers named John and Jason,who built their own arrays and, when faced with the expense of packaged systems, decided to devise a sensible work-around.

Their mounts are designed to use locally sourced generic materials primarily, stuff you can get at Home Despot or a local fence company. The mounts are built on 2.5 inch steel pipe and constructed mostly from what is known as Uni-strut (a brand name), aka just plain "strut". This is galvanized steel channel, the kind electricians use a lot.

The real problem with this is that there needs to be a way to attach the rectangular strut frame that will support the panels, to the pipe, which is set in concrete like a fence post. So John and Jason designed and had fabricated, an elegant adjustable bracket made out of galvanized steel, that connects the vertical pipe to the flat framework the panels bolt on.

They put together a little kit that provides everything you need to build a six panel array except the pipe and the strut. Appropriately, the name of their fledgling company is DIY Solar Racking. I haven't got my racks built yet, but I have promised to send pics, which they want to put up on their website.

Which is, btw:

http://www.diysolarracking.com/ (http://www.diysolarracking.com/)

As I get a little further along, I'll post some pics here too, and probably write about the project too.

And thanks to Uncle Bob for sharing some useful real world information about off-grid living. Duly noted, UB. I hear and I obey.



Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Making Lists
Post by: MKing on May 20, 2015, 06:47:57 AM
So I work my day job 36 hours a week, most weeks.

Damn Eddie, 36 hours in a week? Wow….offshore we would refer to that as "first shift". Gotta be thinking about whether or not I have enough lifespan left to get me a dentist's gig.  :icon_mrgreen: :icon_mrgreen:

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on May 20, 2015, 06:54:07 AM
You get any part of that tornado in Austin they were showing on the nightly news last night Eddie? Texas has some wild weather, got caught in Lubbock towards the beginning of the month in street flooding, never seen that one before. Wildest thing I've ever seen, and trickier than all get out. Flatland flooding is just weird compared to the river towns or canyon streams I am familiar with. Hopefully your stream is noticing it, where I am you wouldn't even know it is spring, or that we get like 330 days of sunshine a year with all the cloud cover and rain.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 20, 2015, 07:32:30 AM
It's been a rainy month, but I drove from Austin out to Lake LBJ on Sunday (for my side business, the 36 hour work week being just for the dental gig. :)) and the Pedernales is still nearly dry. Not enough of the rain is happening in the Pedernales, Llano, and Colorado basins.

 We got a lot of good rain locally, and it was enough to bring lake Travis up about five feet, the last time I checked, which was a couple of days ago.

I was up in the Wasatch last week, and they're getting some rain too. Might save them this year. I was stunned to visit that area in February and see it so dry there was no snow at all in the Provo Valley.

My creek has been full and running this month. I need to get out there and enjoy it, but I've had too much on my plate. I think I was out there three weeks ago. I'm definitely going to get out there this week, maybe dig post holes for the solar arrays and work on my trailers, which have light issues and a flat on one. It's always something, as Roseanna Roseannadanna used to say. I need to haul a tractor to the shop.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 20, 2015, 08:18:33 AM
While I was up in the land of Mormon, something attacked the garden at the house in the burbs and did a fair amount of damage. I figured it was deer when my daughter called me to let me know...but she said she thought it was coyotes...didn't make sense to me. But she said there were big dog tracks in the beds....

Now we have some dogs. But they don't usually mess with the plants. The garden's been there for years now. And the dogs are brought inside at night, which is when the depredation occurred.

We have had lots of coyote activity. The night the garden was ransacked, daughter's BF was up at 3 am and saw four or five skulking along the edge of our yard, actually in the street. I have to consider that it actually might have been coyotes in the garden, just being aggressive and tasting the  plants. Weird though, for sure.

So I finally started building a garden fence, too. Picked up some handi-panels and T-posts. I started trimming some trees and brush adjacent to the garden in my semi-wild backyard, and ended up trashing the chain on my chain saw. Yesterday, I mostly finished with the axe. All I can say is I'm gonna miss chain saws when they aren't around anymore.



Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on May 20, 2015, 08:39:33 AM
We have had lots of coyote activity. The night the garden was ransacked, daughter's BF was up at 3 am and saw four or five skulking along the edge of our yard, actually in the street. I have to consider that it actually might have been coyotes in the garden, just being aggressive and tasting the  plants. Weird though, for sure.
I think it's much more likely that the coyotes were going after whatever trashed your garden.  Do you have wild hogs in the area?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 20, 2015, 08:41:10 AM
No but we do have bunnies. That's a possible. We have deer too.

Deer used to be a guaranteed problem, but a few years ago, an ordinance was passed forbidding feeding deer, and they've become less ubiquitous...and maybe the drought has made them migrate somewhat as well.
 
But when they do wander through, they tend to absolutely strip anything edible they like...this time it didn't look to me like what I've seen deer doing.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on May 20, 2015, 09:49:10 AM
We have had lots of coyote activity. The night the garden was ransacked, daughter's BF was up at 3 am and saw four or five skulking along the edge of our yard, actually in the street. I have to consider that it actually might have been coyotes in the garden, just being aggressive and tasting the  plants. Weird though, for sure.

No application of your air gun solution? I recall you mentioning it, would seem to be applicable in this case. Put the red dot on the poor critter and begin blasting away. Lots of quiet in town target practice plus vermin discouraged.

Quote from: Eddie
All I can say is I'm gonna miss chain saws when they aren't around anymore.

No worries there. Chainsaws will far outlive you and I, probably your kids as well.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 20, 2015, 10:38:31 AM
I was actually considering sitting up with my model 62. Afraid the neighbors might poop their pants, though. Maybe some subsonic ammo. However, the fence will probably be the better solution. Wire panels lined with bird netting is the plan. Should be done by the weekend, if I can get a bar and chain for the Echo today.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Bee Goods
Post by: Eddie on May 20, 2015, 08:30:57 PM
(http://www.beeweaver.com/sites/default/files/images/highground.250x250.jpg)

Recent photo of the apiary I'm supposed to be getting my new bees from. They have some flooding issues, it seems.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Bee Goods
Post by: RE on May 20, 2015, 08:35:45 PM
(http://www.beeweaver.com/sites/default/files/images/highground.250x250.jpg)

Recent photo of the apiary I'm supposed to be getting my new bees from. They have some flooding issues, it seems.

Soggy Bees.

Where is that?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 21, 2015, 04:24:56 AM
Up around Navasota, I think. They have multiple locations, but that's their home area.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 21, 2015, 05:57:10 AM
I spent the after-work hours doing the last of the brush trimming around the backyard garden and started putting up the fence panels, assisted by teacher daughter. I was swept by a wave of nostalgia, thinking about  my old man, who was an expert on all things fencing, and built many miles of barbed wire, as well as corrals and barns.

I used to play sidekick, but he was the guy with all the knowledge, gained from a childhood in the Great Depression, plowing behind mules and learning the farm craft practiced by the previous three generations of my pioneer ancestors in East Texas. I wish he was still around. I could have learned a great deal more from him than I did.

Still, I feel his spirit when I work outdoors. As i took down a few scratchy juniper limbs, I was reminded of him, with his chain saw, cutting firewood faster than i could stack it into the back of a pick-up. Of the way he used to put the tape measure into post holes to make sure the corner posts were set exactly forty inches into the clay. How a chute built to work cattle needs to be exactly 28 inches wide at its narrowest point.

My daughter complained to me that I expected her to read my mind and know what to do without being properly instructed.

Exactly the same way he used to make me feel....:)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Bee Goods
Post by: MKing on May 21, 2015, 07:33:57 AM
(http://www.beeweaver.com/sites/default/files/images/highground.250x250.jpg)

Recent photo of the apiary I'm supposed to be getting my new bees from. They have some flooding issues, it seems.

Nice to see that all drought all the time only works as a meme part of the time. People just don't understand natural variability much.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 21, 2015, 07:47:33 AM
The area  in question, a little over 100 miles to the east, has not been affected much by our drought, which, as I thought I explained yesterday, is  still very much ongoing, in spite of the current rains.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on May 21, 2015, 08:44:27 AM
The area  in question, a little over 100 miles to the east, has not been affected much by our drought, which, as I thought I explained yesterday, is  still very much ongoing, in spite of the current rains.

I'm betting you do understand that "current rains" might not completely describe what has been going on recently, right?

http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/el-nino-texas-california-beneficial-rain-drought/47173554 (http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/el-nino-texas-california-beneficial-rain-drought/47173554)

Much is made over some short term effect or another, be it CO2 at the global level, or rainfall (or lack of) in the west, or the temperature (high or low) in some US city when some particular extreme is reached, be it snow in the winter or August's heat.

But the item of note is that whatever the level of geographic resolution, there are always ranges of outcomes, and those ranges of outcomes are always changing within larger cycles, and so on and so forth. But people have this fixation with what they remember historically as opposed to what is happening on any given day, and the current events are given much higher weights.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 21, 2015, 09:37:12 AM
I'm not bitching about the rain, and I'll be pleased as punch if the drought breaks, but so far we aren't there yet.

Climate change can still be happening, even if we have five wet years in a row. A month of good rain is nice, but far from enough to get us back to where we were.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 21, 2015, 04:43:34 PM
I sent in my request or the $2500 state rebate for the eV several months ago, and I've been wondering if I was ever going to hear back. Today I got a letter from the gooberment telling me (surprise) I'm approved. But no check. Seems they haven't gotten around to that part, but I should get it in 30 days....or according to the letter, maybe 60 days...or 90 days....There's been a  lot of demand,according to the letter.

What a crock.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on May 21, 2015, 07:45:13 PM
I sent in my request or the $2500 state rebate for the eV several months ago, and I've been wondering if I was ever going to hear back. Today I got a letter from the gooberment telling me (surprise) I'm approved. But no check. Seems they haven't gotten around to that part, but I should get it in 30 days....or according to the letter, maybe 60 days...or 90 days....There's been a  lot of demand,according to the letter.

What a crock.

Was the $7500 from the feds still available when you bought the car?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 22, 2015, 04:30:10 AM
That's a tax credit. Yes it's there, but I won't file 2014 Schedule 1040 until October.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on May 22, 2015, 06:52:24 AM
That's a tax credit. Yes it's there, but I won't file 2014 Schedule 1040 until October.

$10G off in total then, woo hoo!!! Nice to see the Feds are willing to return a nice amount of your tax contributions in big chunks.

Mine was around $13.5G in tax rebates and credits and whatnot.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on June 12, 2015, 04:12:16 PM
I'm heading out to Dripping Springs in a few minutes, to pick up my new bee hives. Wish them luck with me for a caretaker. I hope I can keep them alive this time, and in their original housing. I've decided to keep them at the house in the burbs through the heat of the summer, at least. Easier to care for them there.

Shhh. Don't tell my neighbors.

Update: Misread the email and missed my scheduled pick-up time. Now I wait to hear back. Oops.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on June 12, 2015, 07:38:57 PM
Update: Misread the email and missed my scheduled pick-up time. Now I wait to hear back. Oops.

Nice.  A Dentist who misses appointments.  :icon_mrgreen:

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Sailing
Post by: Eddie on June 15, 2015, 06:29:51 AM
"There is nothing- absolutely nothing-
half so much worth doing
as simply messing about in boats."

The Wind in the Willows



Lately I've been puttering about with the boats, and I finally got out sailing yesterday, for the second time of the season. Last weekend I finally got the running lights replaced on my old Rhodes 19 centerboard, and the plan was to go for a night sail on Saturday night...but exhaustion won out over adventure, and we sat out on the dock until eleven and then climbed up the stairs to bed.

I'd left everything rigged at the dock, and even though rain wasn't out of the question, we set out after a very late breakfast, for a reconnaissance of the lake.

My place is on a cove, behind a biggish island, on the last large part of the body of the lake, and to the north and west the lake funnels down into a 200 yard wide course that follows the old river bed north into Kingsland, some four miles up the lake.

With the prevailing winds almost always from the south, the sail up that narrow stretch is a broad reach or a run, and yesterday it made a fine sail, smoother than trying to beat upwind toward the dam.

I knew we were going to have to motor back, but we had a full charge  on the battery for the electric outboard kicker. As we coasted north, wing and wing, the weather continued to threaten, with some distant thunder off to the east, and the wind coming up a bit behind us.

As we approached Kingsland it was obvious it was time to turn for home. The wind was kicking up a few whitecaps and raindrops were starting to fall.We turned into the wind and dropped the sails and started to motor back.

The wind was blowing into our face, and the eV strained to push the big scow hull into the rising weather. After a mile and a half it was obvious that our battery was being depleted far too quickly for us to ever make it home under power. After another half mile it was almost dead, and I cursed myself for putting us in a situation that  looked to put us on a lee shore. A lee shore on a lakeside ranch with private roads and locked gates, far from any boat ramp.

So, with trepidation, I raised the sails in the rising blow, and we began to tack across the narrow channel. The main on the old Rhodes is big, and I had made no provision for putting in a reef.

So we tacked. And tacked. Under tight jib and luffing the main most of the time...pulling in the main when the wind lightened up, bringing us up to weather as best I could...and then dumping the main when the gusts came and threatened to roll us. My partner (wo)manning the jib sheet and both of us up on the deck.

Did I mention I've cut down the cockpit coaming to allow a more comfortable seat on the topside? Easier on the butt, but also less seaworthy when the rail is in the water.

But we were making progress, and I knew after fifteen minutes we would be able to get home eventually. But we weren't making much progress on some of our tacks. It might take hours.

We were trying to get as close to shore as we could to extend our tacks, and eventually I ran aground as I rounded into the wind. Abrupt stop. Raised the centerboard and blew back down wind...recovered...tacked again.

The river finally began to turn west a bit and the wind shifted just a hair..and suddenly our tacks were taking us two or three times further upwind. Two more long tacks and we were into the body of the lake. another twenty minutes and we were home...I pointed us dead into the wind and drifted up to the dock.

It was only 6 pm, but it seemed like we'd been out for ten hours instead of five.

With three hours of daylight left, I finished up my going home chores and headed out for the hour drive back to the city.

My heart suddenly filled, and I remembered why I love to sail. Every little daysail is an adventure when you make your own power with the wind. Nothing is guaranteed. Actions have consequences.

And on this day, Sunday June 14, 2015, we truly lived.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Sailing
Post by: RE on June 15, 2015, 06:51:34 AM

And on this day, Sunday June 14, 2015, we truly lived.

This is going up on the Blog.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Sailing
Post by: Eddie on June 15, 2015, 07:19:30 AM
Thank you.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Sailing
Post by: RE on June 15, 2015, 08:47:49 AM
Thank you.

YW.

Now UP on the Diner Blog as Feature Article under the Title Come Sail Away.

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2015/06/15/come-sail-away/ (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2015/06/15/come-sail-away/)

I spruced it up with some pics of Rhodes 19's and a Styx Music Vid.  :icon_sunny:

Next time, shoot some fucking pictures while you are Adventuring!  LOL.

Also, it has a separate thread over in Kitchen Sink.  I'm not going to merge them, I will leave both up.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on June 15, 2015, 09:30:22 AM
Nice. those pics are better than mine would have been anyway. Hope the sailors don't mind.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead - Sailing!
Post by: knarf on June 15, 2015, 12:57:55 PM
I loved your adventurous story of sailing!!!! :)

For you.

(https://theordinaryblog2.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/digart.png)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on June 15, 2015, 01:21:41 PM
Thank you very much. Glad you liked it.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Auld Lang Syne
Post by: Eddie on June 26, 2015, 05:38:41 PM
I just got the word that a friend of mine has passed away. A colleague, in fact, although I met him skiing, and our relationship never involved work.

I guess he was maybe ten years older than I am. He was retired, for a few years, from a high end  practice in Manhattan, where he mainly restored implants, and worked on the wives of billionaires. Yet he was an humble man, from working class roots himself, and he never looked down on me for my small town, working-class practice. He was one those good guys from our profession, and there are some, who somehow influence you and make you better, just by being there as an example. He was always interested in how I was doing, what kind of training I was getting, and he willingly shared his knowledge with me.

We were seasonal friends who knew each other from staying in the same lodge at the same time of year. For more than a dozen years, I saw him and his wife and family, virtually every year between Christmas and New Years. Our wives and children got acquainted and became friends, and all of us looked forward to seeing their crowd. We might be there a day or two and then I'd see him, and perhaps his wife, stroll into the dining room, making the rounds of the tables.  They knew everyone, but he always found his way over to say hello and shake my hand.

He was once a hard core marathon runner, and ended up wearing out both hips and having two full replacements, on which he skied black diamonds and carved deep powder. He had a special name for Ibuprofen...he called it I-Be-Ski-in'.

I never once skied with him, in all those years. I have no trouble getting down the mountain, but I wasn't the kind of expert skier he was, and I never had the drive to get up early every single day and hit it when the lifts open, the way he always did.  So our time together was spent in the lodge and around the fire. We talked about our lives and our kids' lives. It was a unique and congenial relationship. I will miss seeing him in December.

So long Artie. Hope to see you on the other side.



Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on June 26, 2015, 10:00:33 PM
My condolences Eddie.

In April, I lost my first friend.

We met in first grade, where a quick confrontation escalated into me getting my ass kicked. As sometimes can happen, I requited myself well enough for that initial respect to develop into friendship. Both of us far brighter than our circumstances and socio economic status might otherwise indicate. We lived 3 miles apart, as a crow flies or farm boys might walk through the forest. He was a farm boy since birth, by age 10 he had taught me how to trap raccoon and fox, I worked baling hay in the summer with his family, and as we aged we became more than just a team. We hunted the hills and valleys first with 22's, and later with long rifles. He taught me how to use a rifle and pistol, he loaned me the money for my first hogleg, a Ruger New Model Superblackhawk in 44 magnum. We walked the river valleys and ridges between our houses with hunting licenses attached to our jeans to make the weapons legal, each of us carrying the same pistol, and a long rifle, year round. Deer during the fall, groundhog year round, anything else that was worthy of a bullet in between times.

We played at being Clint Eastwood in the westerns with those single action revolvers, same with our lever action rifles. Holster to hammer back and hammer down, first round through paper plates. Or deer. It irritated him, but with practice came speed, and I was always the faster one. We wrestled and fought and cursed and lived some of the best years of our lives together. He would usually win the wrestling and fighting, he was always the stronger one.

There were no cars for us, or girls, just two young men being raised by single moms and learning as we went. How can one describe the security of being pushed into a corner, by animals or the two legged vermin that populate this world, and a quarter second after determining that bad things were going to happen and chambering that first round, and hearing the "click clack" of your best friend chambering a round a split second slower, and covering your back? I've been shot at by accident during deer season,and on purpose by grandma farmers who knew there were "those boys" skulking up in her woods. Birdshot going through the leaves of the tree you are hiding behind is an amazingly cool sound, as is the whizzing of bullet coming just a bit too close.

His father died during those elementary school years, a drunk who beat him, as opposed to my father, a drunk that killed. This was us, on that fateful night at the beginning of adulthood, just out of high school. Idiots with too much to drink, young men with weapons, a girl involved in some strange way I never understood. Does anything make much sense when drunks are doing the talking? When the smoke cleared that night, he went home to his family, safe and sound. I was arrested and went to jail. Others were less fortunate.  My 44 magnum was collected as evidence to be used against me later. He and I didn't have a scratch. Because I really was the faster one.

For the year before the trial, they sweated him. Right through the choosing of the jury, they sweated him. The local DA, state police, ATF and FBI even got involved at one point because of the rumors about "those" boys, and he never wavered. His story never changed, he held fast in the face of the threats and abuse, claims of complicity, right through the end. I'm not sure I could have done it, but he did. Because he really was the stronger one.

We never saw each other much after that night. He went on to represent his family in the US Navy, his only desire to fight on the same ship that his grandfather had during WWII. He succeeded in doing just that, in just the way he hoped during Gulf War 1. I cleared town and spent 2 years in school with the threat of a life ending jail sentence hanging over me…until that day that the case finally folded…one of life's shining moments, standing among a dozen cops when they hand you back your firearm, and you spin the cylinder to hear the wonderful whirring of the mechanism of a beautiful tool. And delighting in the fact that there wasn't anything they could do about it, as verifying they were returning your property in working condition is  a consequence of having been beaten in court by a teenager. Life changing events…and perhaps a history of arrogance begins…right…there.

His drinking, started before that fateful night, grew worse over the years. He got married, had two boys, and got divorced. Retired from the Navy, and went back home. I went to school and put the same effort into that as I had previously put into becoming a young man capable of living off the land in the Cabinet Mountains of Montana for a summer. I never went back home, because those hills and forests were no longer my home. There was another world out there, and I choose it. We both became pieces of our fathers, as his drinking progressed into something truly evil, and I had already proven to be just as lethal as mine.

I was in my car, driving across the country when I got the call that he had died. No mention in the paper as to why, but cirrhosis wouldn't be a surprise. I cried. We had kept in touch over the years, but not bumping into each other much. He took his time off from the Navy to go home, but my home had become a far bigger place, we just didn't cross paths much. I am not much of a religious man, seeing too clearly the evil that belief systems generate in the gullible. But for just a little while I hoped, and even perhaps prayed, that there really are alternate parallel universes out there. And that in one of them we were really the brothers we were meant to be. That I had kept him from starting in on the weed and booze, and maybe had followed him to the Navy to watch his back. Or he had followed me to college to watch mine. We could have lived a street apart from each other, reveling in our children, perhaps even teaching them some of the things that hillbillies learned the hard way, that the results of the bond we had might be passed down through the generations. But that isn't this universe, only the one I wish I could have been born into instead.

How does one man explain to others the feeling of security that exists, when chaos arrives, and there is screaming and uncertainty and violence? How do you teach calm, in the face of anger and hysteria? How do you KNOW that this hillbilly brother beside you will do exactly what you need done, in exactly the right way, at exactly the right moment?  Certainly military folks must breed that into their people, but we just had it naturally, built it ourselves, and I don't know if he achieved that feeling again during his part in the war, but I know I never did.

He went to his grave with my secrets. Just as I will go to mine with his. What is this called, in a world where we "friend" people on the internet? The very word cheapens what we had. I don't even know what we had, only that I may never feel it again, even with my son. But for those years through the end of high school, I had it, it was mine, and I never appreciated it as much as the instant it disappeared forever with his death.

I don't know what to call what we had. All I can do is use the same words that everyone does, and hope that the story explains what this word means to me, and the significance of what was lost.
 
He was my first friend.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on June 28, 2015, 10:36:08 AM
Best words  you ever wrote.

I don't think we have a word anymore that has enough gravitas to describe what you're talking about. "Brother" comes the closest. I have two brothers by blood and birth, but it has been the brothers I made by circumstance and mutual experience who touched my life the deepest.

Quite a story, my friend. Thanks for sharing it here.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on June 28, 2015, 10:48:35 AM
My condolences Eddie.

In April, I lost my first friend...
 
...He was my first friend.

BLOG ARTICLE!

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Beekeeping 2.0
Post by: Eddie on June 28, 2015, 11:16:25 AM
I brought the three new hives home yesterday. It turns out that the apiary folks have moved out into the country about a thirty minute drive to the west of my house, and started a new operation there. The last time I picked up bees from them, it was at their house in north-central Austin, in the heart of city, where they'd been trucked in overnight from Navasota.

They hail from a large beekeeping family over in the Brazos basin, but the cool kids moved to Austin, like cool country kids often used to do around here. Now it seems like everyone is from somewhere far away, somewhere they bailed on to escape high taxes, high rent, and no job. Not sure we can accommodate many more of those people, but they keep coming, and tech companies keep building multi-million dollar air-conditioned edifices to house their cubicles...

But this third generation beekeeping family is pretty awesome, and the fourth generation was also present and loaded my three hive boxes up in the back of the truck for me. The drive out took me down roads I used to cruise, twenty-five years ago. Roads with names like Hamilton Pool Road, and Fitzhugh Road. I used to want to live out there myself, but never found the right place for the right price at the right time.

It has really changed out there in the intervening years. Development everywhere...but still beautiful Hill Country, with lots of little ranchettes and hobby farms, interspersed with a few big ranches. It was nice to go somewhere, anywhere, at a a sedate 45 mph, no major freeway arteries to be negotiated, and no traffic, unless you want to count the phalanxes of bicyclists out for a Saturday morning ride.

I got the hives set up in a particularly jungle-like corner of my back yard, in a cedar thicket where I hide a decrepit boat trailer and a defunct 4WD Toyota I drove until it just wouldn't go anymore, nearly 300 thousand miles. So far the bees seem to love it there. I pulled the nails from the lids of the hives around noon,and misted the bees, with no smoke needed. I had to run out to the lake to see a potential client, and it was a rainy day, so I didn't worry about removing the solid bottom boards, thinking that a restricted entrance might not be a bad thing for a day or two.

This time I avoided putting feeders in the hives themselves, since last time out the ants went crazy over the bee food. I bought a chicken waterer, and hung it in a nearby tree. They found it by this morning and were happily sucking down my homemade syrup made from 8 pounds of sugar to a gallon of water. Mmmm!

I took the bottom boards off two of the hives and set them on open bases a little while ago, but I should have smoked the bees first. It was more disturbing than taking off the tops, and the bees decided to eat my ass alive, although once again my excellent nylon bee suit, with its big ventilated hat and zippered screen, kept me safe. I did manage to get a couple of minor stings.

I will go back at dusk and use a little smoke before I take off the last bottom board. Live and learn.

My old teacher has a review course on the 11th. I might try to drive over to Bryan and take the class.

Anyway, the bees are here, and appear to be adjusting to their new surroundings with minimal problems, which is very different than last time. It's a better year for getting started, and I think I'll be much better attuned to their needs here than I would be out at the stead, where its tough to make it by more than a couple of times a week. Given a good first year here, next year I'll get some going out there.

I ordered some new Langstroth boxes from Tractor Supply, but they have been slow to ship, so it will be a few more days before I have any uppers. I ordered more of those mason jar feeders too. I won't use the big top feeders again. They suck. I have boxes of foundation and parts to make some frames out at the stead. I need to start building new frames, in advance of needing them. It's an easy,mindless process, building frames, once you learn how. A Zen activity that's perfect for doing while you're sitting around on the couch in the evening, not watching television. :)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Beekeeping 2.0
Post by: RE on June 28, 2015, 11:27:56 AM
Anyway, the bees are here, and appear to be adjusting to their new surroundings with minimal problems, which is very different than last time. It's a better year for getting started, and I think I'll be much better attuned to their needs here than I would be out at the stead, where its tough to make it by more than a couple of times a week. Given a good first year here, next year I'll get some going out there.

Can you breed up enough new bees to move out to the 'stead instead of buying more bees?

How do you breed up a new Queen Bee to keep on scaling up?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on June 28, 2015, 11:28:39 AM
(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSKkbsuzZnla8kveGV9Ksva-U-9UMXtP99F_BY2-aPCI0UnEuWo)

Hamilton Pool, the famous sunken grotto swimming hole in western Travis County, now a protected preserve.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on June 28, 2015, 11:37:07 AM
Can you breed up enough new bees to move out to the 'stead instead of buying more bees?

How do you breed up a new Queen Bee to keep on scaling up?


Usually, the hives are split in the late spring when the hives start to get so full of bees they might naturally swarm and form a new hive anyway. My teacher keeps an empty hive box with foundation already in place in his bee yard, so that if a hive goes into swarm mode, they have a new condo to move into. Sometimes that's all it takes.

If you want to split a hive, you just take half the frames and put them in a new box. You can order a queen from an apiary. Growing queens is an art and a science that makes big bucks for apiaries. Basically, there is a way to "force" hives to make queens, and that's how it's done commercially. It's a complicated process.

However, if you have several frames with plenty of bees, the new split hive will make their own queen, by feeding several larvae a special food called royal jelly. Perhaps three or four or five queens will hatch, and the baddest-ass one will kill the others and become the new queen.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead -- Confederates in My Attic
Post by: Eddie on June 28, 2015, 12:36:14 PM
Every year, it gets easier to put together one's family history, thanks to the internet.

I just figured out that my Great-Great Grandfather on my mother's side was from Kershaw, County, SC, and that he quite likely died a soldier's death in Maryland in 1862, in what is now known as  the Battle of South Mountain. He was a lowly Private, who died in that place on the day of the battle, so I think I can safely assume that's how he met his fate.

http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/south-mountain.html?tab=facts (http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/south-mountain.html?tab=facts)
Title: Re: Confederates in the Attic
Post by: agelbert on June 28, 2015, 12:58:15 PM
Every year, it gets easier to put together one's family history, thanks to the internet.

I just figured out that my Great-Great Grandfather on my mother's side was from Kershaw, County, SC, and that he quite likely died a soldier's death in Maryland in 1862, in what is now known as  the Battle of South Mountain. He was a lowly Private, who died in that place on the day of the battle, so I think I can safely assume that's how he met his fate.

http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/south-mountain.html?tab=facts (http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/south-mountain.html?tab=facts)

I guess you have Scottish ancestry. The similarity between the second Confederate Flag and the Scottish flag (both have the Saltire) might explain why many Southerners of Scottish descent might choose to ignore the heinous abuse of fellow human beings that this flag, as the Constitution of the Confederacy makes clear, has always stood for. Maybe your ancestor soldier couldn't read and didn't know what was written in the Constitution of the Confederacy. But even a private in the Confederacy knew he was fighting to defend slavery.

ignorance of history is not excusable in regard to the Confederate flag and the Confederacy. I think you are wrong in honoring his service to the Confederacy.

I know, you could care less what I think. But I'm right.

Webster Tarpley, an EXPERT in US history in general, and the civil war in particular, clearly quotes the Constitution of the Confederacy for any nostalgic person that thinks the Confederacy, AND THE STARS AND BARS, was not about, AND ALL ABOUT (No law shall be passed, and no new state shall be added, that harms the property rights of negro slave owners!) PROFIT FROM SLAVERY OF AFRICAN AMERICANS.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on June 28, 2015, 01:59:43 PM
. I think you are wrong in honoring his service to the Confederacy.

As far as i know, I haven't "honored his service" in any way. I wasn't aware of his service until this morning, and it's just something that fills out a little bit of family history for me.

He wasn't Scottish, I don't think. So far, the clues point to his having been born American, of an English immigrant father from Berkshire, who came to SC in 1767.

Wars are all the same. Little people die for causes that seldom make sense, motivated by leaders who use them for pawns in their game. The Civil War was not different.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on June 28, 2015, 02:30:34 PM
(http://images.cdn.bridgemanimages.com/api/1.0/image/600wm.PNP.3330820.7055475/277154.jpg)

It is said that this photograph is one of the most recognizable images of the American Civil War. The young man, a bugler, was killed in July of 1862 during the same campaign in which my mother's ancestor was killed, this one the Battle of Malvern Hill. Also an action between Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, and Union forces under General McClellan (the same forces who fought at South Mountain two months later.)

As far as I know, I am not directly related to this young man, but I bear his name. Talk about reading something that gives you goose bumps....
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MattS on June 29, 2015, 11:38:26 AM
My condolences Eddie.

In April, I lost my first friend.


He was my first friend.

Quite a moving story. I assume your train wreck with the law wasn't a long term indicator of your current status in some way...i.e. you aren't incarcerated for something else and writing all this as a lament from prison?

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on June 29, 2015, 01:30:31 PM
My condolences Eddie.

In April, I lost my first friend.


He was my first friend.

Quite a moving story. I assume your train wreck with the law wasn't a long term indicator of your current status in some way...i.e. you aren't incarcerated for something else and writing all this as a lament from prison?

Hardly. My story is such that my discussing it is listed as one of the rules for erasing my posts. In a world where people only want to hear about the bad, the incompetent, the unfairness, the ignorant and how it all relates to the collapse that has been going on for years and years but is invisible to everyone else except our wise forum dwellers, the rise from poverty to "world class" is not appreciated.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MattS on June 30, 2015, 07:52:04 AM
My condolences Eddie.

In April, I lost my first friend.


He was my first friend.

Quite a moving story. I assume your train wreck with the law wasn't a long term indicator of your current status in some way...i.e. you aren't incarcerated for something else and writing all this as a lament from prison?

Hardly. My story is such that my discussing it is listed as one of the rules for erasing my posts. In a world where people only want to hear about the bad, the incompetent, the unfairness, the ignorant and how it all relates to the collapse that has been going on for years and years but is invisible to everyone else except our wise forum dwellers, the rise from poverty to "world class" is not appreciated.

So you are claiming optimism is considered poor form? Strikes me that doom and prepping for it is inherently optimistic, preparing for the unknown, hopeful in surviving the troubles, etc etc.
Title: On Losing a Friend
Post by: Guest Blogger on June 30, 2015, 08:16:48 AM


Off the keyboard of MKing



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Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table inside the Diner



In April, I lost my first friend.



We met in first grade, where a quick confrontation escalated into me getting my ass kicked. As sometimes can happen, I requited myself well enough for that initial respect to develop into friendship. Both of us far brighter than our circumstances and socio economic status might otherwise indicate. We lived 3 miles apart, as a crow flies or farm boys might walk through the forest. He was a farm boy since birth, by age 10 he had taught me how to trap raccoon and fox, I worked baling hay in the summer with his family, and as we aged we became more than just a team. We hunted the hills and valleys first with 22's, and later with long rifles. He taught me how to use a rifle and pistol, he loaned me the money for my first hogleg, a Ruger New Model Superblackhawk in 44 magnum. We walked the river valleys and ridges between our houses with hunting licenses attached to our jeans to make the weapons legal, each of us carrying the same pistol, and a long rifle, year round. Deer during the fall, groundhog year round, anything else that was worthy of a bullet in between times.



We played at being Clint Eastwood in the westerns with those single action revolvers, same with our lever action rifles. Holster to hammer back and hammer down, first round through paper plates. Or deer. It irritated him, but with practice came speed, and I was always the faster one. We wrestled and fought and cursed and lived some of the best years of our lives together. He would usually win the wrestling and fighting, he was always the stronger one.



There were no cars for us, or girls, just two young men being raised by single moms and learning as we went. How can one describe the security of being pushed into a corner, by animals or the two legged vermin that populate this world, and a quarter second after determining that bad things were going to happen and chambering that first round, and hearing the "click clack" of your best friend chambering a round a split second slower, and covering your back? I've been shot at by accident during deer season,and on purpose by grandma farmers who knew there were "those boys" skulking up in her woods. Birdshot going through the leaves of the tree you are hiding behind is an amazingly cool sound, as is the whizzing of bullet coming just a bit too close.



His father died during those elementary school years, a drunk who beat him, as opposed to my father, a drunk that killed. This was us, on that fateful night at the beginning of adulthood, just out of high school. Idiots with too much to drink, young men with weapons, a girl involved in some strange way I never understood. Does anything make much sense when drunks are doing the talking? When the smoke cleared that night, he went home to his family, safe and sound. I was arrested and went to jail. Others were less fortunate.  My 44 magnum was collected as evidence to be used against me later. He and I didn't have a scratch. Because I really was the faster one.



For the year before the trial, they sweated him. Right through the choosing of the jury, they sweated him. The local DA, state police, ATF and FBI even got involved at one point because of the rumors about "those" boys, and he never wavered. His story never changed, he held fast in the face of the threats and abuse, claims of complicity, right through the end. I'm not sure I could have done it, but he did. Because he really was the stronger one.



We never saw each other much after that night. He went on to represent his family in the US Navy, his only desire to fight on the same ship that his grandfather had during WWII. He succeeded in doing just that, in just the way he hoped during Gulf War 1. I cleared town and spent 2 years in school with the threat of a life ending jail sentence hanging over me…until that day that the case finally folded…one of life's shining moments, standing among a dozen cops when they hand you back your firearm, and you spin the cylinder to hear the wonderful whirring of the mechanism of a beautiful tool. And delighting in the fact that there wasn't anything they could do about it, as verifying they were returning your property in working condition is  a consequence of having been beaten in court by a teenager. Life changing events…and perhaps a history of arrogance begins…right…there.



His drinking, started before that fateful night, grew worse over the years. He got married, had two boys, and got divorced. Retired from the Navy, and went back home. I went to school and put the same effort into that as I had previously put into becoming a young man capable of living off the land in the Cabinet Mountains of Montana for a summer. I never went back home, because those hills and forests were no longer my home. There was another world out there, and I choose it. We both became pieces of our fathers, as his drinking progressed into something truly evil, and I had already proven to be just as lethal as mine.



I was in my car, driving across the country when I got the call that he had died. No mention in the paper as to why, but cirrhosis wouldn't be a surprise. I cried. We had kept in touch over the years, but not bumping into each other much. He took his time off from the Navy to go home, but my home had become a far bigger place, we just didn't cross paths much. I am not much of a religious man, seeing too clearly the evil that belief systems generate in the gullible. But for just a little while I hoped, and even perhaps prayed, that there really are alternate parallel universes out there. And that in one of them we were really the brothers we were meant to be. That I had kept him from starting in on the weed and booze, and maybe had followed him to the Navy to watch his back. Or he had followed me to college to watch mine. We could have lived a street apart from each other, reveling in our children, perhaps even teaching them some of the things that hillbillies learned the hard way, that the results of the bond we had might be passed down through the generations. But that isn't this universe, only the one I wish I could have been born into instead.



How does one man explain to others the feeling of security that exists, when chaos arrives, and there is screaming and uncertainty and violence? How do you teach calm, in the face of anger and hysteria? How do you KNOW that this hillbilly brother beside you will do exactly what you need done, in exactly the right way, at exactly the right moment?  Certainly military folks must breed that into their people, but we just had it naturally, built it ourselves, and I don't know if he achieved that feeling again during his part in the war, but I know I never did.



He went to his grave with my secrets. Just as I will go to mine with his. What is this called, in a world where we "friend" people on the internet? The very word cheapens what we had. I don't even know what we had, only that I may never feel it again, even with my son. But for those years through the end of high school, I had it, it was mine, and I never appreciated it as much as the instant it disappeared forever with his death.



I don't know what to call what we had. All I can do is use the same words that everyone does, and hope that the story explains what this word means to me, and the significance of what was lost.

 

He was my first friend.


Title: Re: On Losing a Friend
Post by: RE on June 30, 2015, 08:22:52 AM
Professor Moriarty gets his first Blog Article on the Diner!  :icon_sunny:

Kudos Moriarty, you're a Blogger now.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: roamer on June 30, 2015, 02:46:53 PM
My condolences to both Eddie and MKing on losing a friend. I too just lost a close friend and kindred spirit.  He was only 37 years old and lost a year long battle with a very strange bout of cancer.  In retrospect he had been fighting the cancer two years back and the doctors simply did not bother to dig deeper prescribing him acid reflux medication for what was esophogeal cancer spreading.  When they got MRI's it was stage IV and had spread to his liver, kidneys, and spine.  He fought on for 8 more months, managing to finish several outstanding work contracts he had with his business.  He did his best to set his wife and child up for a future without him. It was so unexpected, he was a healthy hardworking strong athletic guy who didn't smoke or drink and ate well.  He grew up on a dairy farm and learned early on to how to give 100% in work and to not accept  being half assed.  After high school life on the farm didn't pan out financially for their family so he took to the world abroad.  He worked his way around much of the globe as an arborist, laborer and adventurer.  He traveled through Australia, New Zealand, and some of Europe before settling in western british columbia as an arborist.  Our paths crossed 7 years ago when he moved back to his home state of wisconsin to be closer to family and to start one of his own.  We worked together installing towers across the country.  In retrospect it was a pretty good gig for us both, we explored a huge chunk of the lower 48 over the years doing the work and formed quite a bond basically living and working together for weeks on end.  We developed a good friendship away from work too.   Though there were times on the road when I questioned his seemingly relentless pushing to get our jobs down faster and better, regardless of circumstances, I was the half assed worker always wanting to enjoy the scenery, the day and the remote areas our work had brought us too. I knew though he wasn't pushing that hard just because, he had a family he was working for and  unlike myself he didn't have some 4 year piece of paper to maybe fall back on, his work and his reputation was all he had.  As he went on to run his own business he had to overcome the lack of degree and farmboy stigma by proving over and over that he could be counted on to succeed in technical installs in difficult conditions. He was remarkable too in doing getting difficult jobs done under budget and on time.   I always thought of him as a generation or two misplaced, he had a very rare strain of grit and drive.  It was balanced though by being a very loving father and husband and family member.  I really feel for his family they lost a great guy and are going to miss him greatly.   I still rather taken back by his loss, its one of those events that just doesn't add up to my notions of "fair" and just doesn't quite make sense.  If i feel one thing its that life is much more uncertain and fleeting than we care to acknowledge. 

Anyway no intention to get on too much of a tangent just wanted to share a bit about my friend on this thread. 

I find MKings childhood friendship quite touching too.  I think its a bit paradoxical too.  That type and depth of friendship is remarkable rare and has over the last century of pre-packaged ease become even more so. The paradox is that though many hold those qualities such a friendship fosters quite high we at the same time would never ever willingly embrace the circumstances which produce such a friendship.  It seems such a friendship really could only be borne out of necessity and true circumstance.  I am curious MKing whether you see it that way?  I know you are very glad to be a long way from the squalor of those hills, but do you think you'd have ever become who you are without that adverse environment of which you'd never willingly subject yourself too? 





Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on June 30, 2015, 05:19:41 PM
I find MKings childhood friendship quite touching too.  I think its a bit paradoxical too.  That type and depth of friendship is remarkable rare and has over the last century of pre-packaged ease become even more so. The paradox is that though many hold those qualities such a friendship fosters quite high we at the same time would never ever willingly embrace the circumstances which produce such a friendship.  It seems such a friendship really could only be borne out of necessity and true circumstance.  I am curious MKing whether you see it that way?  I know you are very glad to be a long way from the squalor of those hills, but do you think you'd have ever become who you are without that adverse environment of which you'd never willingly subject yourself too?

As children, we go where our families go, we do as we are told, we learn from those around us, and from the culture and customs of where we live.

I believe the answer to your question is no. People will not put their children into the life I was raised in, in the hopes that they can fight their way through to the other side. And that includes my own. I'm not sure any parent would choose deprivation for their children to "learn'im". The idea of your 12 year old needing a firearm to protect himself from feel dogs would just be an alien idea to modern Americans. The idea of actually using it on other people abhorrent. If they had no choice..sure…but those of us who have a choice? We all want our kids to have it better than us.

My children have not been required to defend themselves from vermin, of 2 legs or 4. They are not afraid of those things in the natural world that can hurt or kill them, because neither I nor the lifestyle I provide have ever required learning it. They have never been required to hunt their own food, and rewarded with the lesson of hunger for having failed. They have traveled the world, utilizing tents, trains and cruise ships. They were raised by their parents, a stay at home mom and a dad who came home every day for lunch to see how they were doing, every day he was home. Their parents have taught in their classrooms, run the PTA, cheered on their competitive efforts across multiple sports, and will be there in about a year dropping them off at college, probably in Texas.

And as much as it irritates me to have participated in a contribution to the modern sissified world, I have only done what any good parent desires, and that is to offer them a life not offered to me at their age. My wife and I shall see how that turns out in a few short years, as they progress through young adulthood to full grown adult and citizen.

They have pieces of me, just as I have pieces of my father and mother. I can only hope that they have the better ones.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on July 01, 2015, 07:51:54 AM
Condolences to you too, Roamer. That is a father's greatest fear, to die and leave his family to fend for themselves. At least it's my greatest fear. It sometimes haunts me in dreams. I'm sorry for those left behind. My belief system tells me that such interrupted lives are some kind of karmic trade-off, that would only makes sense if we understood our past lives better.

MK, your story reminded me of my first friend, who is still alive, but has become estranged to me through the years. My brother stays in contact with him, or I wouldn't even know if he was still living. It's a long story, but some of it mirrors yours. Maybe I can write about that one some day. It would make a good novel, if I could do it justice.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on July 01, 2015, 10:36:03 AM
Condolences to you too, Roamer. That is a father's greatest fear, to die and leave his family to fend for themselves. At least it's my greatest fear. It sometimes haunts me in dreams. I'm sorry for those left behind. My belief system tells me that such interrupted lives are some kind of karmic trade-off, that would only makes sense if we understood our past lives better.

MK, your story reminded me of my first friend, who is still alive, but has become estranged to me through the years. My brother stays in contact with him, or I wouldn't even know if he was still living. It's a long story, but some of it mirrors yours. Maybe I can write about that one some day. It would make a good novel, if I could do it justice.

Don't worry about the justice. Good stories are good stories, there would be far fewer if people waited until they thought they could tell it with the justice a Thoreau might offer. To hell with the grammar nazis and spell check fascists, organize thoughts into bulletin points, expand bullet points into beginning sentences, and beginning sentences fleshed out into paragraphs. It has worked for a near incompetent writer such as myself across multiple peer reviewed science rags, and hundreds of articles.

Technical writing is easy however, and is designed to tell a story of a different type. Writing stories from personal experience seems to be about just putting yourself into it more than anything else, and let fly, come what may. The good, the bad, the hopes and fears, the joy and pain. The world is what it is, and it has never seemed to me to be a better place with fewer stories, that make grammar nazis happier, than more, and to hell with the whining of the grammar nazis.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Boomer Bus Porn
Post by: Eddie on July 02, 2015, 11:20:19 AM
Actually these folks are GenX or younger, but I like their bus blog. Lots of info about bus conversions and nomadic living. Just ran across this by accident and thought somebody might be interested.

http://www.technomadia.com/2011/06/our-search-for-a-vintage-bus/ (http://www.technomadia.com/2011/06/our-search-for-a-vintage-bus/)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Luck of the Draw
Post by: Eddie on July 03, 2015, 10:49:38 AM
So much of life is just plain luck...or karma, if you prefer.

It's the day before the 4th of July, 2015.

Today I am grateful to be temporarily ensconced in an overpriced, fossil fuel wasting waterfront condo overlooking the beach on Mustang Island, Texas's answer to the Outer Banks.

I am also grateful to still be married (34 years this month) to a cute surfer girl from Pasadena (TX) who still looks great at 62, and who owns eleven swimsuits.

I will be boiling shrimp. This is THE place in the whole USA for good fresh local shrimp. Take it from somebody who's made a pretty good random sampling of what's out there.

Party on, Diners.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Luck of the Draw
Post by: RE on July 03, 2015, 10:55:32 AM
I am also grateful to still be married (34 years this month) to a cute surfer girl from Pasadena (TX) who still looks great at 62, and who owns eleven swimsuits.

I don't suppose any of them have a Confederate Flag design?

(http://s3.postimg.org/cpgwetz43/222222222222222hh.jpg)

 :icon_mrgreen:

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on July 03, 2015, 11:00:08 AM
Nope, she's as left-wing as Surly. College girl.

But she has this little faux-neoprene number with a zipper that looks like she needs a spear gun for an accessory...pretty hot.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead -- The Real Bucket List
Post by: Eddie on July 31, 2015, 11:55:13 AM
Without going into great detail (because I don't have the details), I have had some reason this last week to realize that I am neither immortal, nor immune to the slings and arrows of aging. My father died of cancer when he was almost exactly ten years older than I am now. He was diagnosed when he was five years older than I am now. Since I turned 45, I have avoided doctors like the plague, but I think I'm going to be forced to seek one out.

So I have begun to think about how I might make some life choices that would help avoid the kind of messy clean-up that often occurs when a guy with a lot of stuff, and a lot of financial obligations, drops dead and leaves it for his family to deal with.

I would need to sell about a dozen expensive toys that aren't worth nearly what I paid for them, and maybe two or three pieces of real estate that my wife and kids either wouldn't want or couldn't afford without me.

Five long letters would need to be written. A few more letters would would be optional, for extra credit.

I'd need to finally finish my will.

That's about it.

I am going to start work on the letters and get the will done. I'm going to get a history and physical done.

After that, I'll reassess where I'm at.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Golden Oxen on July 31, 2015, 12:02:43 PM
Quote
I'd need to finally finish my will.

If you don't leave a trust the lawyers will bleed you heirs dry in probate. Don't ask a lawyer about it, he will tell you i'm full of shit.

Do your own research on the net or talk to a CPA that is Not a tax attorney as well.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on July 31, 2015, 12:34:02 PM
Quote
I'd need to finally finish my will.

If you don't leave a trust the lawyers will bleed you heirs dry in probate. Don't ask a lawyer about it, he will tell you i'm full of shit.

Do your own research on the net or talk to a CPA that is Not a tax attorney as well.

Will do. Thanks.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Surly1 on July 31, 2015, 06:46:16 PM
Quote
I'd need to finally finish my will.

If you don't leave a trust the lawyers will bleed you heirs dry in probate. Don't ask a lawyer about it, he will tell you i'm full of shit.

Do your own research on the net or talk to a CPA that is Not a tax attorney as well.

Or find a lawyer who will prepare a living trust for you. I have one, and all I have is a sockful of money for penny-ante poker to leave behind. I suspect you might benefit, GO.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on August 01, 2015, 01:56:57 AM
I cant afford to die :(
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on August 01, 2015, 02:22:47 PM
With the quality of legal "help" in Texas, he might want to investigate professional help in this regard elsewhere.

Quote
Texas attorney general indicted on felony charges, sources say

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/08/01/texas-attorney-general-indicted-felony-charges-sources-say/30991447/ (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/08/01/texas-attorney-general-indicted-felony-charges-sources-say/30991447/)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on August 02, 2015, 11:39:49 AM
I hope they crucify that neo-con prick.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on August 02, 2015, 12:58:01 PM
I hope they crucify that neo-con prick.

neo-con? The idea is mostly obsolete now that the minorities have been running the country for the better part of the last decade. What's your beef with this guy, he prosecute a dentist for not washing his hands before sticking them in a patients mouth or something?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on August 02, 2015, 01:37:10 PM
The idea is mostly obsolete now that the minorities have been running the country for the better part of the last decade

You think? Not in red states like Texas. Patrick is a home-grown Rush Limbaugh wannabe along the lines of Glenn Beck. He started out as a sportscaster and a bar owner. He got elected on a platform of sealing the border and getting tough on immigration, even though he once hired illegals himself when he ran his Houston bars.

He now has his own radio station, and has a neo-con radio show that airs in Dallas and Houston.

His name isn't even really Patrick. He made that part up himself. Sounds better than Goeb, which is his real name.

He is a right-to-lifer, loves charter schools, and has managed to change the procedural rules in the lege to make it easier for Rethuglicans to push their bills onto the floor.

Unfortunately for him, his slimy money-grubbing corporation-loving ass is in a sling now. In Texas we have a regular tradition of sending Attorneys General to jail.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on August 02, 2015, 01:48:44 PM
The most important attributes for being elected to higher office in Texas, if you are running in a predominantly white suburb of Dallas or Houston are for you to be:

Anti-taxation (Although typically this ends up in the long run working out better for the candidate's corporate sponsors than it does regular citizens. Funny how that works.)

Ant-immigration

Anti-abortion

Pro-voucher (which is to say, anti-public school)

Pro-business (Brings job, yanno.)

And you gotta support the troops.

It's all demagoguery, but it sells. And if most of those guys turn out to be crooks who are looking to feather their own nest, well, who could have imagined?

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on August 02, 2015, 01:55:57 PM
Oh, almost forgot.

You have to publicly state you believe Creationism needs to be taught in the public schools. Perhaps not exclusively, but it certainly deserves equal time in the curriculum, because after all, we are a Christian nation.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on August 02, 2015, 03:42:47 PM
The idea is mostly obsolete now that the minorities have been running the country for the better part of the last decade

You think? Not in red states like Texas. Patrick is a home-grown Rush Limbaugh wannabe along the lines of Glenn Beck. He started out as a sportscaster and a bar owner. He got elected on a platform of sealing the border and getting tough on immigration, even though he once hired illegals himself when he ran his Houston bars.

So..standard lying politician. Neo-con is not a prerequisite of standard lying politician.

Quote from: Eddie
He is a right-to-lifer, loves charter schools, and has managed to change the procedural rules in the lege to make it easier for Rethuglicans to push their bills onto the floor.

Unfortunately for him, his slimy money-grubbing corporation-loving ass is in a sling now. In Texas we have a regular tradition of sending Attorneys General to jail.

Excellent. Sounds like Texans know how to fix this type of scumbag politician. Keep up the good work!
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead - All Those Corporate Bootlickers Look the Same
Post by: Eddie on August 03, 2015, 07:23:11 PM
I just realized I was ranting about the sleaze bag Lootenant Goobinator yesterday, when I meant to rant about the sleaze bag Attorney General (the one who got indicted for fraud today, and was released on his own recognizance). Dan Patrick Goeb (Okay he changed his name. Not surprised since Goeb sounds like it might be Jewish), the radio shock jock, is the Looie. Ken Paxton, his political clone, is the AG until proven guilty.

So, this is my correction. The scumbag Attorney General, who is a long time former State Senator, never meant to defraud anybody. He was just taking a little graft from his cronies in the bidness community. What's all the fuss about anyway?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on August 03, 2015, 08:55:34 PM
It's all demagoguery, but it sells. And if most of those guys turn out to be crooks who are looking to feather their own nest, well, who could have imagined?

There is a reason beyond demagoguery that Texas has supplied more than its share of economic growth. Wonder how many of the things on your list made that possible?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on August 04, 2015, 06:55:41 AM
I'd argue that it's mostly natural resources that have been Texas' growth engine. Oil and gas and big ag. The people who run those industries have gotten pretty much anything they've asked from the politicians, while stuffing their pockets with $100 bills to grease the wheels.

It's a tragedy of the commons scenario, however, and the chickens will come home to roost. Already are, as we speak. It just takes time.

The list I made is just a testament to the ignorance and prejudice of the voting public here. Nothing to brag about. People get what they deserve.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on August 04, 2015, 07:46:23 AM
I'd argue that it's mostly natural resources that have been Texas' growth engine. Oil and gas and big ag.

Good thing they drive economic activity and folks can then afford to fix their teeth, buy cars, and do all those other things that drive BAU off into the foreseeable future. Criminal representation acts as sort of a tax, and if the economic activity can support it, well, it isn't really any different than how Wall Street works.

Quote from: Eddie
The people who run those industries have gotten pretty much anything they've asked from the politicians, while stuffing their pockets with $100 bills to grease the wheels.

And you get to fix teeth because of the skids being greased of the economic activity involved, and folks affording your services. Good news for dentists that aren't being driven out of business because of big game hunting in Africa, right?

Quote from: Eddie
It's a tragedy of the commons scenario, however, and the chickens will come home to roost. Already are, as we speak. It just takes time.

Maybe. But it certainly might be something for your kids to worry about, it could be so far off in the future. More good news! You and the wife can retire wherever you wish and stop worrying about all this doomer hand waving because it won't ever bother you.

Quote from: Eddie
The list I made is just a testament to the ignorance and prejudice of the voting public here. Nothing to brag about. People get what they deserve.

I don't disagree that Texas has stupid people, but so does everyone else. And sure, we all get the government we deserve. Thomas Jefferson? So kick back and enjoy the fact that YOUR representation is far better in terms of results provided to the electorate than most others in the US. You just can't see the silver lining in ANYTHING nowadays..whats up with that, just feeling more pessimistic than usual, time for a vacation to some cool beach/sailing location somewhere?

I've got my fingers crossed for the wonderful consequences of dropping oil prices to the average consumer, road trips!! Thinking of sneaking in 2 or 3 between now and the end of the year, see how the EV does as a pure hybrid (my reviews are all in the techno section but apparently are against the CoC because they can't get approved). The wife is killing me though.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on August 04, 2015, 07:58:03 AM
I'd still like to get up to Canada. I don't have the time to drive though. It'd have to be a flight to Vancouver and float plane the rest of the way. Does still sound like fun though. I've never flown in a float plane.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on August 04, 2015, 08:03:11 AM
, time for a vacation to some cool beach/sailing location somewhere?

Headed to St. John in...18 days and counting. Hadn't planned to, but the tickets were really on sale. I'll be writing a new addendum to my collapsing in paradise series.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Golden Oxen on August 04, 2015, 08:41:17 AM
Quote
I've got my fingers crossed for the wonderful consequences of dropping oil prices to the average consumer, road trips!! Thinking of sneaking in 2 or 3 between now and the end of the year, see how the EV does as a pure hybrid (my reviews are all in the techno section but apparently are against the CoC because they can't get approved). The wife is killing me though.

I thought myself we would get some benefit from this in the consumer spending in other areas with the savings department.

It doesn't seem to have materialized as of yet MKing.

Perhaps the economy would be much weaker without it?

Or perhaps it is the lack of commensurate declines in gasoline and heating oil?  :icon_scratch:

Any ideas, or do you think we'll get a delayed reaction?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on August 04, 2015, 09:27:04 AM
Quote
I've got my fingers crossed for the wonderful consequences of dropping oil prices to the average consumer, road trips!! Thinking of sneaking in 2 or 3 between now and the end of the year, see how the EV does as a pure hybrid (my reviews are all in the techno section but apparently are against the CoC because they can't get approved). The wife is killing me though.

I thought myself we would get some benefit from this in the consumer spending in other areas with the savings department.

It doesn't seem to have materialized as of yet MKing.

I've seen some articles making the same argument. The counter claim as to what is being done is to pay for things that have gotten more expensive in our inflationary environment (except for rich folks collecting silver or whatnot who pretend that this means the world is deflationary) and/or they are saving the difference. Both seem reasonable.

Overlooked is the benefit to business using gasoline/diesel that have just seen their profit margins jump, and might be able to pay employees a little more, and that money shows up as an additional benefit in the overall economy.

In my case I would do a road trip no matter what, but now instead of sleeping in a tent I can maybe snag a hotel more often, range wider afield, snag an extra museum entrance fee and whatnot.

Quote from: Golden Oxen
Perhaps the economy would be much weaker without it?

The economy is always variously weaker, or stronger. Certainly it appeared to be getting along okay prior to the big price drop, so it is unlikely to do worse now without other factors coming into play. The shakier China looks the better the outlook for the US gets, the longer the US contains the marginal oil barrel around the globe the better the outlook for the US, the lower prices in general tend to harm the unfriendly resource cursed countries like Russia and Iran, we might all agree that our politicians are generally pretty stupid but we need only look to Venezuela to find out what happens when you combine bad politicians with a non market based economy…all in all things aren't looking all that bad, certainly no collapse to be found except in the usual places, and those that have been collapsing and always will…since the days of the Roman and Zulu empires.

Quote from: Golden Oxen
Or perhaps it is the lack of commensurate declines in gasoline and heating oil?  :icon_scratch:

After this mornings briefing from some globally renowned upstream oil experts, I wouldn't' worry about the next round of price drops in gasoline. I don't pay much attention to the heating oil market, I expect it to follow the general distillate profile, plus it is pretty small and generally concentrated among those who can't be bothered to pollute less by getting a natural gas pipeline to their town.

Quote from: Golden Oxen
Any ideas, or do you think we'll get a delayed reaction?

The opinion of those paid to watch these things is that the next dip is coming, probably right into this fall as product storage (as opposed to feedstock storage) continues to gain. Have you ever heard of ullage in the downstream products arena? Not something you hear bloggers talking about because lets face it, professionals are, and bloggers are not. But it isn't looking good for finished products because of which way ullage is changing.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on August 04, 2015, 01:00:07 PM
You mean those $45 barrels of oil aren't even full?

I thought ullage was an oenology term.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on August 04, 2015, 03:39:12 PM
You mean those $45 barrels of oil aren't even full?

I thought ullage was an oenology term.

More like these barrels (using the term liberally) have recently been getting more and more full of finished products. Filling up storage isn't just a feedstock problem, it is also a finished product problem.

(http://www.pca.state.mn.us/artwork/cleanup/ast-largetankfarm.jpg)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on August 05, 2015, 06:00:47 PM
I went out to the stead today. The creek is still flowing, I was surprised. It's the time of year that the heat is really oppressive. I didn't do much, just checked on the life support functions, walked down to the creek. So nice to see the water still flowing, because July turned out to be really dry , after all that rain earlier.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on August 05, 2015, 08:54:37 PM
I went out to the stead today. The creek is still flowing, I was surprised. It's the time of year that the heat is really oppressive. I didn't do much, just checked on the life support functions, walked down to the creek. So nice to see the water still flowing, because July turned out to be really dry , after all that rain earlier.

Excellent, another state perhaps easing off the drought list. Although the idea of visiting your neck of the woods during the coming 100F days isn't thrilling me much, whether there is water around or not. Texas is just too damn hot for me.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead - More Pomp and Circumstance
Post by: Eddie on August 07, 2015, 12:17:20 PM
I attended what might be my last undergraduate commencement this morning, watching my youngest collect her B.S.

I took a lot of photos, which included her making the traditional jump into the beautiful San Marcos River just outside the Strahan Coliseum on the TSU campus, wearing her cap and gown. It's more popular after the summer commencement, and I got a few shots of her and some other young people bobbing around in their black robes in the cold clear water that flows out of the natural karst springs on the edge of the campus (at a rate of 4300 liters per second).

Mom and the girls headed out for an impromtu  post-graduation shopping trip, and now I'm back home drinking the second cup of coffee I didn't get this morning.

The river is a good metaphor for our lives. Today wasn't the end of anything. We'll all continue to be swept along, and end up where the current takes us for the most part, regardless of any attempts on our part to swim upstream like salmon, a fish that we don't have around here anyway.

Nevertheless, having your last kid graduate college is a milestone of sorts, a big one, and so today I'm feeling philosophical and mellow. Have a nice weekend, doomers.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead - More Pomp and Circumstance
Post by: MKing on August 07, 2015, 01:17:35 PM
Nevertheless, having your last kid graduate college is a milestone of sorts, a big one, and so today I'm feeling philosophical and mellow. Have a nice weekend, doomers.

Nope. I'm going to Texas.  :emthdown: :emthdown:

But the idea of having the final kid leaving college and beginning the next journey of their lives in the non-collapsing world can't be all bad!

If I was in your shoes, with the last one headed out the door, it sounds like time to sell the business, home and hunting cabin, change addresses and leave no forwarding address! That is what my wife and I keep telling our kids, although I believe I am more committed to this plan than she is.  :icon_mrgreen:
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on August 07, 2015, 02:35:34 PM
You couldn't have picked a worse weekend to visit Texas. It's hotter than hell. Supposed to be 102 right now, heat index of 110.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on August 07, 2015, 02:53:00 PM
You couldn't have picked a worse weekend to visit Texas. It's hotter than hell. Supposed to be 102 right now, heat index of 110.

I know. But I've visited Harold and his folks in Enid Oklahoma when it was 115F, visiting colleges with the daughter is far more worthy of my suffering.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on August 07, 2015, 03:16:55 PM
Here's some pics from the TSU campus I took this morning after the ceremony.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/sets/72157656512430619/with/20388521061/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/sets/72157656512430619/with/20388521061/)


Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead - More Pomp and Circumstance
Post by: Surly1 on August 07, 2015, 03:25:38 PM
I attended what might be my last undergraduate commencement this morning, watching my youngest collect her B.S.
//
Nevertheless, having your last kid graduate college is a milestone of sorts, a big one, and so today I'm feeling philosophical and mellow. Have a nice weekend, doomers.

Congrats, Eddie. Richly deserved, and well done.

Enjoy.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on August 07, 2015, 03:44:04 PM
Here's some pics from the TSU campus I took this morning after the ceremony.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/sets/72157656512430619/with/20388521061/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/sets/72157656512430619/with/20388521061/)

Pretty. I replaced it on the visitation schedule with Univ of Houston because I couldn't find anyone outside the state who had ever heard of it. And the thing is BIG, so you would think it had some out of state influence. The fear with University of Houston is that maybe it is more like a big local college with branch campuses, sort of like a  community college on steroids.

Might try and hit University of Texas in Dallas as well, just poke around and see what there is to see, campus wise.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on August 07, 2015, 04:16:33 PM
The thing with TSU is that it was, until recent years, known as Southwest Texas State. New name.

It was a second tier school that just got enormous because of its proximity to Austin and to some degree, UT.  Sort of an overflow school. When I was in school it had a well deserved reputation for being the biggest party school in Texas, but it's always had a good academic reputation, and it is growing like crazy at the moment.

I'm prejudiced against Dallas because I simply don't like the city. Not much character or charm. I've spent lots of time there.

I lived in Houston when I was a resident, and my wife grew up there. I wouldn't want my kids to go to school there, just based on my experience. But then my ex-wife was murdered there, apparently stabbed by a bunch of gang bangers in some kind of thrill-kill event, in the 1980's. They never caught who did it. Of course, crime was worse at that time.



Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on August 07, 2015, 04:55:31 PM
I lived in Houston when I was a resident, and my wife grew up there. I wouldn't want my kids to go to school there, just based on my experience.

I've got step brothers and sisters who sent their kids to public school there. But secondary schools are something else than the run of the mill public education. Probably not different than most places in that regard.

Quote from: Eddie
But then my ex-wife was murdered there, apparently stabbed by a bunch of gang bangers in some kind of thrill-kill event, in the 1980's. They never caught who did it. Of course, crime was worse at that time.

Prior to the relaxed carry and/or self defense laws probably, a little more leeway with shooting bad guys nowadays as people become more comfortable with personal responsibility in regards to their self defense. I was always surprised back in the early 90's in Houston with the restrictions on me carrying in that state, I mean it was TEXAS and they were pricks about established citizens like myself bringing firearms through the place.



Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead - More Pomp and Circumstance
Post by: Eddie on August 07, 2015, 05:34:29 PM
I attended what might be my last undergraduate commencement this morning, watching my youngest collect her B.S.
//
Nevertheless, having your last kid graduate college is a milestone of sorts, a big one, and so today I'm feeling philosophical and mellow. Have a nice weekend, doomers.

Congrats, Eddie. Richly deserved, and well done.

Enjoy.

Thank you sir!
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on September 01, 2015, 06:45:57 PM
I misplaced my only good pair of bee gloves, and I ended up getting multiple stings on my  hands a couple of days ago. That bothers me the most of any place, because they itch and get a little swollen, and I have to wear gloves at work, which makes it worse.

I really have to re-queen one of the new hives. They're too aggressive for me. Not looking forward to the day I do that.

Still feeding them every other day. Not sure it's enough in the current dry conditions, but they are hanging on. Adventurer daughter is helping me with the bees now. The best part of gardening and beekeeping is seeing my grown kids get interested.



Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on September 11, 2015, 03:53:20 PM
I drove to Houston last night so I could get up this morning and hit a morning class at the dental school that looked pretty good. I don't train much at either of my dental alma maters, but this one (about doing root canal therapy on children, something I have to do more than I'd like) turned out to be worth the price of admission.

It's been nearly 30 years since I lived in that neighborhood near Rice University, but I made my way through the darkness, across the freeway hellhole that is Houston, to the Med Center Hilton (which is on a back street) without the need for GPS or looking at the map. It was raining, and I was nervous about it, but body memory got me there.

It's so strange to go back. It's so true what Henry James said about not being able to go home again. And like Gertrude Stein said, it's because "there's no there there" anymore. Everything changes.

The building I where I attended classes...not sure what happened to it. Torn down probably. In '85 I lived in some brand new student apartments near the venerable Astrodome, far from campus. Not a great neighborhood in those years....now the new dental school is immediately adjacent to that, while the apartments themselves, where my two eldest children were toddlers, are looking a little worse for wear, although they're still occupied by students, all of whom looked very young to me.

On the way home I stopped at a place that's been on my radar since somebody brought it up to me a couple of years back when I was taking my PDC course. It's called the Industrial Country Market, and it's a "roadside attraction" kind of place out in the boonies between Columbus and La Grange.

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRGxe3oaYVun0xBm5BYoTp86koIMIMpMQlsz9EyUcMqjqXaroe_2g)

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQPFvc8S_n-zQ_Vvf11dHz8CErPz5r3vHPo7Z2w9gUbCQqrC9_IhA)


http://icm71.com (http://icm71.com)

The ICM is a cool concept. It's a commercial greenhouse operation and an artsy-craftsy store that runs completely off-grid. I've kept meaning to  check it out, but for whatever reason it's been closed, or I've been in some kind of hurry when I was passing through...But today I stopped in. It was a slow day for them on a rainy Friday, and I talked at length with the owner and one of his key employees. I ended up buying a neat little pump that runs off AC or DC, something to play around with and maybe use for a project soon with the greenhouse.

They run seven big arrays of PV, with four or five charge controllers and four big Trace inverters. The big shed that houses their battery bank and the components of their system is a work of engineering beauty. They give classes on PV, and I need to show up for one soon. The guy who runs it, Dan, is an ex-school teacher with (evidently, from what I gathered) some experience in electronics. He spent a good bit of time trying to explain to me how charge controllers work, something that is beyond the scope of my very basic understanding of PV's, and I think I can learn from him.

(https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRNDLy5kYILLzrVOeG-u9HGfOwm0F1rM3cziNEkxfOyqZ8En1h-sw)
Power House at ICM

The coolest thing was the greenhouse. They built their own water wall for cooling, using rainwater which they recycle through the wall. By using rainwater, the paper cooling cores in the water wall have lasted through seven years of use without having to be replaced, which wouldn't happen with mineral laden well water.


Dan also talked to me about a variety of what I consider to be advanced topics on off-grid electricity. Like what voltage is best coming out of a single array, and how he's stepped up the voltage to his remote well to 440 Volts because he had a voltage drop issue...and the pros and cons of high voltage versus low voltage. It's good to be able to bounce questions off somebody who's had to deal with some of the difficulties that arise in going off-grid.

It makes me happy to see that kind of place staying in business...but it's a little ironic, because it probably stays in business because it's on a major road between Houston and Austin that gets travelled every week by thousands of UT students and their parents..in their SUV's. I didn't exactly need the pump I purchased, but I wanted to spend a little money with them.

I'm home again. It's been rainy here for two days, after two very dry months, and I'm sitting out on the porch listening to distant thunder and listening to the birds during a lull in the showers. Rain is such a precious thing here now, it feels like a small miracle when it comes. Life is sweet.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on September 11, 2015, 05:05:09 PM
DING DING DING!

Blog Article!


RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead -- Remembering
Post by: Eddie on September 15, 2015, 04:13:35 PM
Where do you start? There is so much I could say about him. A hundred stories, easy. I want to write something, but it is hard, hard. So fucking hard.

Okay, here goes.

We even had the same name.

Middle names, that is. Because we were both named for my father. It was my father's middle name too, but Dad was called by it...and he was called by it too, even though I was not.

He was three years older than I was. We were childhood best friends. Yes we were. But it went much further than that. We were like brothers, two brothers of different mothers. Best friends whose fathers were also best friends.

And it went further still. My family was friends with all his many aunts and uncles, and grandparents....and we were good friends with his mother's people too. They were country people who lived right in Mud Creek Bottom, which would figure in a lot in our development.

Our relationship was better in many respects, than real brothers, because he lived a hundred miles away when we were growing up. We spent every Christmas together. In the summer, he'd spend a week at my house in the sticks, and I'd  spend a week at his house in the burbs. I looked forward to every visit. The first night he would be at my house, I wouldn't be able to fall asleep.

We were always going to get up early the next day and go exploring, or hunting. We used to wander up and down Bridge Creek for miles, not any respecters of property rights. We travelled with stealth, hidden from view down under the canopy of the creek. We mostly went unnoticed, even though we went armed. First with our BB guns and later with rifles and shotguns.

Anyway, I would lie awake long after he was sacked out and sawing logs, but I'd be awake at first light, and I'd poke him, and he wouldn't wake up. He'd tell me to leave him alone and then he'd turn back over and sleep for a couple more hours.

It went on like that from my earliest memory, until he turned into a teenager and we found reasons not to spend so much time together. But it didn't end there. We stayed close for many years, drifting apart in adulthood.

Like some other city kids I knew, he turned to petty larceny as an adolescent,out of boredom and for thrills and free beer, stolen from garage refrigerators in the Dallas tract house suburbs. He always got me in trouble, being the one who had nerve and lacked the kind of respect for authority that I had seemingly hardwired into my psyche.

After a couple of years of not seeing each other, he showed up at my surprise 21st birthday party and gifted me with a whole ounce of the finest Lebanese blond hashish. Best party ever.

I got married first and he did soon after. He was the best man at my wedding. I was the best man at his wedding. But he was, if anything, an even worse husband than I was,and his bride soon left him, as did mine. I went back for another try, and got lucky. He never did.

Thirty years ago he moved to a dying town in Central Texas, went to work for his father, who owned a jewelry store and a profitable jewelry repair business, and bought a run down house, where he lived alone, pursued his many hobbies, and slowly drank himself into ruin.

He had to give up his craft. A rattlesnake bite ruined his ever steady right hand. It was an avoidable accident that happened when he, probably under the influence, was handling a pygmy rattler owned by a friend. He loved snakes, and kept a big Western Diamondback for a pet (if you can call such an animal a pet) for more than 20 years, until she finally died of old age.

He drunk called me once out of the blue and asked me, in his alcohol induced honesty, why I didn't stay in closer touch. I told him I was just busy trying to raise my kids, which was true, but it wasn't the real reason. I just went a different way. I buckled down to thirteen years of school. He dropped out of college after a year. He was always a talented artist, drawn to beadwork and Native American arts and crafts. He, like his father, was a great hunter, and an amateur gunsmith. He built flintlock rifles from kits and used them. He got into rendezvous and re-enactments. He liked to take off and spend a week in Terilingua for the Chili Cook-Off, an event I always wanted to attend, but never seemed to find time for in my busy schedule.

He showed up one year in the late 90's for a fishing trip we had planned down in Aransas Bay. He spent some time with my famiiy then, and maybe we got together once or twice after that. I'm not really sure.

I really meant to spend more time with him. But I didn't. Life got in the way.

The last time I remember seeing him was at his Uncle Chester's funeral. Chester was the best woodsman of all our fathers and uncles. He fed his family off the largesse of Mud Creek. His kids, older than we were by some ten years, had built a cabin on the creek where we went fishing dozens of times with our Dads over the years.. Not on their land, actually, this cabin. I never knew who owned that land back in our day.  I went to Chester's house after the funeral, and he was there.  I asked  him to walk down the mile or two of ruts to the creek, but he wasn't into it. By that time the land had passed into the hands of a local millionaire who had torn the old cabin down and put in RV hook-ups.

I really wanted to walk down there anyway, because I knew it would be my last chance, but it didn't happen.


So...I got the call today. He took his own life over the weekend.

My brother called to tell me, right as I was finishing up my work day. He didn't know any details. There was a note, which he left for his sister. I have no idea as to his state of mind, but like most old alcoholics, he was probably fighting depression. Alcohol does that to people. I expect he shot himself. Once decided, for him of the iron will and supreme stubbornness, he would have done it quickly and efficiently.

I feel like shit right now. Guilty, mostly, for being a terrible brother and friend. Sadness, that it had to end that way for him. Sadness for his few remaining family and friends.

I feel that we will surely be together again. We have known each other over many lifetimes. So long, my brother. May you rest in peace, and in time....be reborn.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead -- Remembering
Post by: RE on September 15, 2015, 04:45:56 PM
Where do you start?

Right where you did.  That was a good epitaph.

Dust in the Wind.  All we are is Dust in the Wind.

http://www.youtube.com/v/tH2w6Oxx0kQ

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Golden Oxen on September 15, 2015, 06:41:58 PM
My condolences Eddie. Losing a family member is always a painful remorseful event.

The Earth will still turn and the sun will shine again.  Peace
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: vwclown on September 15, 2015, 08:01:26 PM
I'm sorry for your grief, Eddie.  Such sad news.  You described your friend and your friendship so well; it's understandable this will be a tough time for you to get through.  Here's a hug  --  vwclown   
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on September 15, 2015, 08:13:31 PM
My condolences Eddie. Losing a family member is always a painful remorseful event.

The Earth will still turn and the sun will shine again.  Peace


Thank you.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead -- Remembering
Post by: Eddie on September 15, 2015, 08:14:18 PM
Where do you start?

Right where you did.  That was a good epitaph.

Dust in the Wind.  All we are is Dust in the Wind.

http://www.youtube.com/v/tH2w6Oxx0kQ

RE

Thank you.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on September 15, 2015, 08:16:39 PM
I'm sorry for your grief, Eddie.  Such sad news.  You described your friend and your friendship so well; it's understandable this will be a tough time for you to get through.  Here's a hug  --  vwclown   

Thank you.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on September 15, 2015, 08:36:58 PM
Sorry u lost  your bro Ed. There was a time i saw 5 people planning to take themself out every day. Play this loud enough he hears it...
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=plj82F4kY7o (http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=plj82F4kY7o)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead -- Remembering
Post by: Surly1 on September 16, 2015, 04:05:16 AM
Where do you start? There is so much I could say about him. A hundred stories, easy. I want to write something, but it is hard, hard. So fucking hard.

//
I feel that we will surely be together again. We have known each other over many lifetimes. So long, my brother. May you rest in peace, and in time....be reborn.

Just catching up with this.

My condolences, Eddie.

This will take a while to sort out.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on September 16, 2015, 04:33:59 AM
Sorry u lost  your bro Ed. There was a time i saw 5 people planning to take themself out every day. Play this loud enough he hears it...
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=plj82F4kY7o (http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=plj82F4kY7o)

Thank you.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead -- Remembering
Post by: Eddie on September 16, 2015, 04:34:43 AM
Where do you start? There is so much I could say about him. A hundred stories, easy. I want to write something, but it is hard, hard. So fucking hard.

//
I feel that we will surely be together again. We have known each other over many lifetimes. So long, my brother. May you rest in peace, and in time....be reborn.

Just catching up with this.

My condolences, Eddie.

This will take a while to sort out.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Austin Celebrity Sighting
Post by: Eddie on September 18, 2015, 09:02:47 AM
I made a pit stop on my way out of the 24Diner Wednesday night, and as I walked from the bathroom back out to the front door, I spotted a guy sitting alone, texting on his smartphone while he enjoyed a solitary meal. His face looked familiar. I stepped outside and rejoined my party.

"I think that's Steve Earle over there," I said, and of course my three companions all turned and stared at him through the big plate glass window. He saw us looking and probably figured he'd been made. As usual, I went on my way, not wanting to bother the poor guy, who probably doesn't get much privacy. I read later he'd been in town for a show at the Paramount.

Just one of the idiosyncrasies of living in a hipster town, I guess. Never know who you might see. Not much paparazzi here. I've personally seen Quentin Tarantino and Adam Sandler. Robert Plant and Sandra Bullock both used to be seen here in the neighborhood. I ran into Wille walking unaccompanied through the airport one day a year or two back. I'm no celebrity worshiper, but it does give me a weird feeling to actually see some well known person frequenting the restaurants and watering holes we consider our territory.

http://www.youtube.com/v/onxGMaIDxi0&fs=1

The second song I really like. One for my funeral mix-tape. Wish I could make my 000 Martin sound that good.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 18, 2015, 12:38:34 PM
I am off to that place I never go anymore, The Mall. I have to buy a wedding suit to wear when I marry the kids (two more weeks). My remarks have been written, and I have plagiarized the Book of Common Prayer to write the words of the ritual. Starts with "Dearly Beloved".  You know the one.

It was originally a combination of the Pagan English ceremony and the Latin Wedding Mass. It was first used in the medieval town of Sarum, on the Salisbury Plain, not far from Stonehenge...by the first English Catholic Bishop, appointed by William the Conqueror himself . That'd be just over a thousand years ago.

I'm taking certain liberties to swing the pendulum back from the Christian influence, making it ever so slightly more pagan. Why not?  I'm in charge.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 18, 2015, 02:08:28 PM
One jacket, three pairs of pants, two shirts, two ties. Less than one hour from my house and back, door to door.

It's amazing how quickly these little unpleasantries can be dealt with, if you don't bring your wife shopping.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 18, 2015, 02:11:45 PM
That'd be just over a thousand years ago.


My bad, it's only been 949 years, give or take. I'm surprised Palloy didn't call me on my poor arithmetic.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on October 18, 2015, 02:38:11 PM
I'm taking certain liberties to swing the pendulum back from the Christian influence, making it ever so slightly more pagan. Why not?  I'm in charge.

Running the Show is a nice place to be.  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Surly1 on October 18, 2015, 03:37:50 PM
One jacket, three pairs of pants, two shirts, two ties. Less than one hour from my house and back, door to door.

It's amazing how quickly these little unpleasantries can be dealt with, if you don't bring your wife shopping.

Hunters. Gatherers. QED.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on October 18, 2015, 11:36:20 PM
Xmas shopping for all relatives requires one trip to kmart on about 22nd dec IMO.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 29, 2015, 09:13:50 AM
My prepared remarks to be given immediately prior to performing the marriage ceremony on Sunday (the final cut).

Thanks everyone , for coming.  In a moment we’ll start the ceremony. I’m Eddie Tennison, Karen’s father, and if you’ll indulge me, I have a few brief remarks.

I have many distinct memories of the cold December night in 1990, two days before Christmas, when my youngest  daughter Karen came into this world.  It doesn’t seem that long ago, to me.

Those of you in Richard’s family, I’m sure, have the same kind of shared remembrances of his arrival, just a couple of years earlier. 

It has been our privilege as families, to watch these two very good kids grow up.

On a day like today, my mind is flooded with the memories of family life and a childhood that flew by very quickly, and I’m amazed now to see these two young people grown and fully adult, and ready to undertake one of life’s greatest steps, marriage, and to start  their own narrative as husband and wife.

Anne and I knew the first day Karen presented Richard to us , that Richard was different in her eyes, than all  the others, and that he likely was the one who would remain in her life forever.

And now, after seeing them together for some time, I feel, and I think all of you who know Karen and Richard will agree, that if two people were ever destined to find each other across the vastness of time and space and be drawn together into a life of mutual interests and shared passions, and  to fall in love with each other, and be together for life, it is these two.

For that reason I was extremely honored (as well as surprised), when Karen and Richard asked me to perform this wedding ceremony today. Those of you who know me might well have reservations about my qualifications to conduct such a serious affair, but let me assure you that I have reviewed the legal statutes , and as far as I can tell, in Texas, just about anybody can perform a marriage. 

One more thing.

Families just don’t get together like they once did a generation or two ago. We tend to live these far-flung lives that take us all over the country and around the world, and the only times we’re ever brought together anymore is for weddings and funerals.  Too often it is the sad occasions that bring us together.

Thankfully, today is a day of the very greatest joy and celebration. I hope everyone here today has a wonderful time. Let’s celebrate having and being a family.

 And let this occasion today be , as Hemingway once said, a moveable feast, and  wherever you all go, for the rest of your lives,  you can take it with you.



Collapse happens, but life goes on.

Somehow.

For now, at least.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on October 29, 2015, 10:07:47 AM
My prepared remarks to be given immediately prior to performing the marriage ceremony on Sunday (the final cut).

Where's the "Dearly Beloved" part?  :icon_sunny:

Where's the Reception being held?  How much did it $COST$ ?

Give my best Doom Wishes to the Newlyweds!  ;D

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on October 29, 2015, 11:36:13 AM
The Dearly Beloved part, my version, final cut.

Dearly Beloved

We are gathered here today, in the sight of God and in front of these witnesses, to celebrate the joining in Holy Matrimony, between this man, Richard, and this woman, Karen.

For we know that marriage is an honorable estate , one that is practiced and recognized among all people everywhere.

The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is intended for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and in adversity; and for the procreation of children, and their nurture.

 Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted.


Richard, you have taken Karen to be your wife, to live together in harmony and marriage.  Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, to be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?

I do

(You may place the ring on Karen’s finger)

(Repeat after me.)

With this ring I thee wed.  With all that I am and all that I have, I honor you.



Karen, you have taken Richard to be your husband, to live together in harmony and marriage. Do you promise to love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, to be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?

I do

(You may place the ring on Richards’s finger)

(Repeat after me.)

With this ring I thee wed.  With all that I am and all that I have, I honor you.

By the power that is vested in me by the State of Texas, I pronounce you husband and wife.

You may kiss the bride.








How much did it cost? Too much, but probably far less than you'd imagine.

Title: Starting Your Doomstead the Right Way
Post by: RE on October 30, 2015, 07:12:25 PM
There's a podcast with this article if you go to the site.

RE

http://theruraleconomist.blogspot.com/2015/10/starting-your-homestead-right-way.html (http://theruraleconomist.blogspot.com/2015/10/starting-your-homestead-right-way.html)

Starting Your Homestead the Right Way

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-R-qH7DtSyDw/VjDC9fFSl5I/AAAAAAAABQM/heLd0mBrvJA/s1600/Starting%2BYour%2BHomestead%2BOff%2BRight.jpg)

This post is an addition to and an expansion of the Tips for Picking Your Forever Homestead post. In it we gave you a system to use to evaluate property, eliminate the ones that do not fit your family and your hopes, and pick the one that you can hopefully make your forever home. I believe this post will help you.



Honest Self Evaluation
 
Why am I starting here? This is actually the single most important aspect of whether or not you will be able to achieve your goals in anything, even more so on your homestead.

Your knowledge, skill,  physical ability, and the amount of time and money you can invest will determine what you can accomplish and how quickly you can do so. Some things on a homestead have a steep learning curve. If you are like I am, you will quickly find that your greatest limitations are time and money. If you have more of one than the other there are still things you can do, but it is a lot tougher.

By doing an honest self evaluation you may find that you will have to adjust your timeline. We will get a lot deeper into that later, but you must have a good understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.

Set Homestead Goals
I believe that most people have goals in mind when they do most things, even if that goal is something that others would think unimportant. If something is a goal, it is important to you. Setting goals when it comes to a homestead is a not that much different from setting goals for a career. You have to decide the destination that you wish to achieve. George Harrison had a line in a song that went, "If you don't know where you're going any road will take you there." This is even more so when it comes to your homestead. Here are somethings to ask yourself and some considerations for each.

    Are you wanting to make an income from your homestead?
    Are you wanting to produce most of your family's food?
    Do you want to have animals on your homestead?
    Are you willing to market a product?
    Are you willing to allow people to come to your homestead?

 Not setting goals is a big mistake. It doesn't matter if you are wanting to completely make a living off of your land or if you are just wanting to be as self sustainable as possible, goals are necessary.



Have a Plan for Your Land
If you used the selection process we suggested in Tips for Picking Your Forever Homestead, you already have a preliminary plan. You should take the time to develop this plan before you get too far into the process.

I have known some people who once they purchased a piece of land they started planting things. They didn't have a plan at all. They would place a tree here and a shrub there and something else over there. There was no rhyme or reason to where they put anything. If someone were to purchase the land from them, they would have either had to cut or move trees and shrubs to be able to do most anything.

Graph paper is your friend. You can scale up or down your plan based on the size of your property and the size of the graph paper. Even if you have to get one of the big pieces of poster board that has the really faint grid, I would use one of these. You can do a proper layout of your property plan with blank paper, but you will have to establish a scale and use a ruler to get the measurements correct. If you just hand sketch your plan the measurements will be off and it will be easy to make mistakes. Take this extra step.


Don't be too Devoted to Your Plan
I know I just told you that you had to have a plan and now I am telling you not to be too devoted to the plan. You may be wondering, what the hay? Your plan is a guide and shouldn't be set in stone. You will find as you begin working toward your goals that somethings just will not work like you thought they would. Even if you did your research, things will pop up. You may find that in the part of your land that you had hoped to put a vineyard the soil is to shallow. You could find that an area has a wet weather spring or any number of other things. You should be able to adjust your plan while staying true to your goals. Who knows? You may even find that your goals change as you truly learn your land.

Are you wanting to make an income from your homestead?

If you are hoping to make an income or even more so a living off of your homestead there are more things you should consider.

Your homestead becomes a business.

As soon as you decide that you wish to make an income from your homestead it becomes a business and should be treated as such. You will have to track expenses and income. You will have to evaluate possible markets, what products to market, how much effort will you have to apply to produce your product, what is an acceptable profit margin, and finally how much to price your product.



What are you planning on offering to make a living?
If you are planning on selling a product you will need to consider what your market is going to be. There is no shortage of things that can be offered for sale. Some things like artisan soaps or crafts can be made anywhere and shipped. Others require a close proximity to your market. What things can you grow or make that would have a demand in your area?

We will look at selling chicken eggs because it is the most common commodity sold from most small scale homesteads.

If you live in a rural area or even drive through one you have probably seen a small sign stuck up in someone's yard that reads "Fresh eggs for sale". Around here the average price for a dozen homestead eggs is between $1.50 and $3.00 a dozen. You may be wondering how you can make any money selling eggs for $1.50 a dozen. The simple answer is you can't, no matter where you are. If you are wanting to make a decent side income from chicken eggs you will have to go far beyond the sign in front of your house.

How could you make a profit from chicken eggs?

First, produce a superior product. The eggs you buy in the grocery store are the lowest quality that should be considered for human consumption. Those chickens never see the outside world. Most are caged in a very small area, their entire lives consist of eating and drinking what is placed in front of them and laying eggs. No bugs, no scratching, no life. By giving your chickens a life and access to grass and insects their quality of life is much greater. If your chickens have a better quality of life and better nutrition they will produce higher quality eggs.

Second, find a market that cares about better quality. You are not going to make any money trying to compete with the prices at your local grocery store or Wal Mart. That is just a fact. These places support industrial agriculture. The best markets for good quality food is upper middle income areas. These people are willing to pay for higher quality and many of them truly care about where their food comes from. This is a growing trend. People are beginning to reject the idea of factory farms.

Third, price your products fairly and include a good profit. How do I do that? You will need to spend some time and learn how to use a spreadsheet. You will need to include all of the costs to produce the product and a profit. This can be a tricky process so let's work our way through with chicken eggs.

Purchasing chicks. For the purpose of this exercise we will consider production red chickens. Pullets run around $2.77 each when you buy 50 or more. These ladies will not start laying till they are around 22 weeks of age. On average they will lay for two to three years and normally lay an egg every 25 hours. This will slow down some during winter months and during times of molt. You will have to figure how much it will cost to feed and water each hen over the course of her life add that to the cost of purchase, then divide that by the average number of eggs she could be expected to produce. This will give you the cost of goods sold. The average hen will lay around 530 during her lifetime.

    Note: I do not include housing costs in my figures because this cost can be amortized over many years if constructed well.


There are several things that will impact the cost of production, some of these things include: what type of feed you use, whether or not you provide supplemental lighting, how much your birds are allowed to forage, at what age you cull your hens, how you purchase the egg cartons. We could keep going, but this should give you a good idea. After you do all of this, you will have a good understanding of what it costs you to produce each dozen eggs. A good range of cost of production is between $1.75 - $2.50 per dozen. This is what it will cost you to have your hens produce these eggs. If you charge less than this you are taking a loss. In order to make a profit you will have to charge more for these eggs than the cost of production plus what it costs you to sell them plus your profit margin. This is why you will see free range eggs for anywhere between $5.00 to $8.00 per dozen. Again I only used eggs as an example because it is a really good illustration.

Offer things that are unique but would have demand

Around here I wouldn't try to sell chicken eggs. I have been researching a couple of different idea. One is producing kiwis. Kiwis are expensive and if I can offer locally and naturally grown kiwis, I believe I could have a good market quickly, that would have a nice profit margin. No one is growing kiwi locally and I have other ideas as well.

Another idea I have been playing around with would be plant propagation. Figs, blueberries, blackberries, and kiwis can be propagated by cuttings. I am wanting to take it a step further and create something really unique, blueberries and apple trees produce better with a cross pollinator. Why not graft different varieties of blueberries together to produce one plant that will benefit itself with cross pollination. Apple trees have been done this way, but to have someone who could create a plant that is designed for your area would be really nice. This would be a major win for those with small spaces. You will have to use your imagination and work that spreadsheet.

Now I want to point out the end of the last heading "but would have a demand". If you have an idea and no one is doing anything like it anywhere close to where you are think really hard about your idea. It could be that there is not sufficient demand to support a business. You will have to do your research.

Over estimate time requirements

I had to learn this one the hard way. If you really want to get yourself in a bind, give yourself only the amount of time you think it will take to get something done. Normally you will find that you underestimate by a bit. Sometimes by a good bit. Until you have learned the ins and outs of a job or project always overestimate the amount of time it will take to complete. If you get it done quicker, you will have more time for other things. If not you haven't put yourself in a bind.


Don't try to do too much too fast

Unless you have a good deal of experience in farming or homesteading this is a real danger. Many times we want to jump in with both feet into whatever new adventure we are pursuing.  Homesteading should not be that way. If you try to do too much too quickly you are likely to not see the results you had hoped for. It is easy to get discouraged and want to give up. By pacing ourselves we can reduce the likelihood of frustration and burnout. Failures are going to happen, that is just part of life. How we deal with those failures is what matters most.

Always evaluate your results

This is something that we really should be doing in all of our life. At the end of a family weekend I always ask "What was your favorite part? What was your least favorite?". This is a simple evaluation. On the homestead we have to be a little more thorough with our evaluation. What plant did well and where? What plant had difficulties? How can we improve the fencing to reduce predator impact on our livestock? What sold best? What product did we offer that had the greatest profit margin? How can we improve.

This year our pastor gave us several plants. None of them were labeled. Some you could simply look at and know they were tomatoes of some variety, we couldn't tell what kind, but at least that was something. Others we had no idea what they were till they grew much bigger. One of the tomato plants that was given to us was a type of cherry tomato. This plant has really outdone itself. It has produced incredibly well and the fruits have an amazing flavor. This plant will be in the mix from now on. Some varieties of sauce tomatoes do better than others in our garden. Our jalapenos have done really well, but they are too small to be used in some of the ways my wife wants. This variety will still be included in our garden, but in fewer numbers and we will continue to search for a jumbo jalapeno variety that will do well here. What types of herbs do we use most? Can we grow those here?

Evaluating your results will help you tweak your plan for next year. Your homestead and its results should get better each year. There will be years when there will be extenuating circumstances that may have to be allowed for as well. Things like a really wet year, a really dry year, a late frost, or an early frost will impact your results. Notes should be taken on all of these things and plans should be developed to deal with all of these possibilities.

 The Gardening Notebook is the ultimate gardening tool. This printable notebook has over 120 pages of information and organization to help you have the garden you've always dreamed of.

I hope you enjoyed this post and podcast. I know for some this has been really in depth and for others it has just scratched the surface. If you will use these suggestions you really can make your homestead into something of which you can be proud.

Bringing Rural Back
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 12, 2015, 04:46:36 PM
We have lots of tomatoes, at least for here, where the heat makes raising them outdoors a bit of a crapshoot, already.

Yesterday was a balmy 87 F, another record I think, for this time in November. It's cooled off today and it's 60 here now. I've been out in the garden, just picking ripe cherry tomatoes like berries and eating them right off the vine. I watered the new starts, although it's been fairly damp as of late, with showers within the last several days.

Drought punctuated by occasional floods. Nothing to see here, just move along. The Friday before the wedding we had friends fly in to town. The airport was shut down and the control tower flooded. 14 inches of rain in that small area of town in an hour or two. Boom. They had to truck in a temporary tower from Kansas or somewhere. One runway only for days.

I am not longing for cold weather. I want to eat tomatoes until Christmas. But the vines know the season is over. They are dying in spite of the good water. It's just time, I guess.

The house is empty again. One by one, the kids have moved out again, and it's just me and the dogs, waiting for the lady of the house to get off work, which is always late. It's nice to have an employee who is a willing workaholic sometimes, but when she's also your wife and partner, it isn't so great. I worry about her, because she doesn't know when to say fuck it. My father used to say that you can work a good horse to death, and I'm afraid the principle applies here.

I miss the full house, when we had ten sit down to dinner some nights. I spent a fortune on food, but it was worth it. We had so much good energy around here for a couple of years, and a lot of art and music happening. I'd write a book about it if I were more disciplined.

Now teacher daughter has finally closed on a house and moved into it. Adventurer daughter is mostly living at her BF's apartment. My son is doing pretty well in school in Chicago. I think working for my artist friend, running her shows this last year, has matured him and taught him how to present himself to his faculty and the people who are already beginning to scope him out as patrons, which does happen when you're working in a high end grad program. The newlyweds are back from their honeymoon and in their apartment. I suppose we're empty nesters again.

I am turning 60 in a couple of weeks. I'm considering a party. I'm going up to Provo  a week from today to do an implant course with my mentor. Thanksgiving and Christmas seem to be much closer than they should be. I'm going to make dinner tonight. I've been making myself cook, part of my austerity plan. However, I tend to drink too much when I cook, which negates the savings. Oh well.



Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on November 12, 2015, 05:09:31 PM
We have lots of tomatoes, at least for here, where the heat makes raising them outdoors a bit of a crapshoot, already.

Yesterday was a balmy 87 F, another record I think, for this time in November. It's cooled off today and it's 60 here now. I've been out in the garden, just picking and eating ripe cherry tomatoes like berries and eating them right off the vine. I watered the new starts, although it's been fairly damp as of late, with showers within the last several days.

Drought punctuated by occasional floods. Nothing to see here, just move along. The Friday before the wedding we had friends fly in to town. The airport was shut down and the control tower flooded. 14 inches of rain in that small area of town in an hour or two. Boom. They had to truck in a temporary tower from Kansas or somewhere. One runway only for days.

I am not longing for cold weather. I want to eat tomatoes until Christmas. But the vines know the season is over. They are dying in spite of the good water. It's just time, I guess.

The house is empty again. One by one, the kids have moved out again, and it's just me and the dogs, waiting for the lady of the house to get off work, which is always late. It's nice to have an employee who is a willing workaholic sometimes, but when she's also your wife and partner, it isn't so great. I worry about her, because she doesn't know when to say fuck it. My father used to say that you can work a good horse to death, and I'm afraid the principle applies here.

I miss the full house, when we had ten sit down to dinner some nights. I spent a fortune on food, but it was worth it. We had so much good energy around here for a couple of years, and a lot of art and music happening. I'd write a book about it if I were more disciplined.

Now teacher daughter has finally closed on a house and moved into it. Adventurer daughter is mostly living at her BF's apartment. My son is doing pretty well in school in Chicago. I think working for my artist friend, running her shows this last year, has matured him and taught him how to present himself to his faculty and the people who are already beginning to scope him out as patrons, which does happen when you're working in a high end grad program. The newlyweds are back from their honeymoon and in their apartment. I suppose we're empty nesters again.

I am turning 60 in a couple of weeks. I'm considering a party. I'm going up to Provo  a week from today to do an implant course with my mentor. Thanksgiving and Christmas seem to be much closer than they should be. I'm going to make dinner tonight. I've been making myself cook, part of my austerity plan. However, I tend to drink too much when I cook, which negates the savings. Oh well.

Don't worry about being an Empty Nester too much.  Sounds like you will have grandkids around soon enough.

Anyhow, the solitary life has many advantages of its own once you latch onto them and appreciate them.  But I suppose it is harder to do this if you have become accustomed to many other voices around.  My years in the truck accustomed me to the silence of all but my own thoughts.  I really need nothing else than that, I can retreat entirely into my own mind and just hold conversations with myself.  There were periods on Reverse Engineering when nobody else was participating.  I had to just keep writing, just for myself, just for my own sanity.

Anyhow, you still have the wife, so you don't have to learn these techniques yet.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 27, 2015, 02:01:41 PM
Yesterday was warm and rainy. We bailed on our usual Zilker Park location and held the feast at our house. We fed about twenty people, including some new acquaintances invited by the newly-weds. It turned out to be a nice low key family party that lasted much longer into the evening than any in recent history.

Today the weather is changing. It's getting colder, although it won't freeze anytime in the next week or so if you can believe the forecasts. I took the covers off the beehives today. Two of the three seem to have plenty of honey stockpiled, but the third is light and will no doubt need to be fed.

I deliberately stopped feeding all three about two months ago when the cooler, wetter weather began, and the wild plants started to bloom again. At that time, all the hives looked about equal in terms of population and vigor. Not sure why the one hive seems to be struggling now. I think they'll all make it with a little help though.

The tomatoes in the keyhole garden are continuing to make new fruit, and I'm beginning to think I might harvest tomatoes right up until Christmas. But I've learned that it doesn't have to freeze hard to get them. Just several days of near freezing weather will do it, so...we'll see.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on November 27, 2015, 02:15:06 PM
Yesterday was warm and rainy. We bailed on our usual Zilker Park location and held the feast at our house. We fed about twenty people, including some new acquaintances invited by the newly-weds. It turned out to be a nice low key family party that lasted much longer into the evening than any in recent history.

Today the weather is changing. It's getting colder, although it won't freeze anytime in the next week or so if you can believe the forecasts. I took the covers off the beehives today. Two of the three seem to have plenty of honey stockpiled, but the third is light and will no doubt need to be fed.

I deliberately stopped feeding all three about two months ago when the cooler, wetter weather began, and the wild plants started to bloom again. At that time, all the hives looked about equal in terms of population and vigor. Not sure why the one hive seems to be struggling now. I think they'll all make it with a little help though.

The tomatoes in the keyhole garden are continuing to make new fruit, and I'm beginning to think I might harvest tomatoes right up until Christmas. But I've learned that it doesn't have to freeze hard to get them. Just several days of near freezing weather will do it, so...we'll see.

5F outside last night, 1/4" of ice on top of everything outside, EV ranged clobbered by the temps, been out in about 6 inches of snow, teaching the newest driver in the family to advantage of AWD, and fun of drifting the car through corners using the emergency brake.

Had a wonderful thanksgiving with family, took some time off since Wednesday but doing some minor paper corrections anyway this afternoon, plus writing some code to decipher a global economic model utilizing a rather complicated supply curve generation structure, but the killer news for this holiday is 22LR ammo!! Thousands of rounds!

I created email accounts for everyone in the family over the age of 18, found a Thanksgiving sale, collected credit cards from everyone, and began buying. Haven't bought this much 22LR since the son first started shooting matches, and now have a nice supply for the coming summer.

As an afterthought, it appears the decision has been made to move, leaving behind the state we have grown quite fond over. It was a good place to raise a family, and we will remember it fondly in the coming years, no doubt. But the wife has her heart set on some place warmer, and with water and sand and an ocean involved somewhere. I have been pushing the Eastern Shore, Cape Cod, the coast of Maine, but she is angling for somewhere between Wilmington NC and Corolla Beach in NC. No tomatoes for us, certainly no hunting cabin upkeep, just relaxing walks near rising oceans and sunrise over the Atlantic. I've been pitching for RVs and 6 months a year of road tripping, but the resistance to such an idea is stiff.

When do you plan on enjoying your spoils of BAU Eddie, sooner rather than later, or does dying at the desk the way that dentists do it?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 27, 2015, 02:27:42 PM
When do you plan on enjoying your spoils of BAU Eddie, sooner rather than later, or does dying at the desk the way that dentists do it?


It's a question that comes to mind more often now, but I can't see any real reason to hang it up just yet. Somewhere between 6 years and 15 years from now, I expect, given the gift of enough health to keep working.

I have engaged a new consulting firm to help me plan better for that eventuality. I meet with them the 18th of next month. Hopefully they'll help me figure out how to squirrel away a few more fiat dollars over the next few years.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on November 27, 2015, 04:43:01 PM
I have engaged a new consulting firm to help me plan better for that eventuality. I meet with them the 18th of next month. Hopefully they'll help me figure out how to squirrel away a few more fiat dollars over the next few years.

What, the financial advice you receive around here isn't good enough? :icon_mrgreen: :icon_mrgreen: :icon_mrgreen:

Just listen to the wife, she had it all figured out 7 years ago and you ignored your SO, so now you need consultants to tell you the advice she dispensed for free!! Give the money to her instead and let her get what she wants for herself, and then let her tell you how to make more, and for god's sake ignore those who can only figure out how to successfully suckle at the GovCo teat.

But geez Eddie, you really want to work till 75?  Sure, health is important, but TIME is even more so, and so you can afford to let that last $1000/month annuity go by, and instead FORGET about work already. I've seen scientists who insisted that the world needed to know what they knew, and these guys really were world class, and they just had to stay around and write those last few papers, so everyone would KNOW! And then they died one afternoon, without ever having gone to Tahiti with the wives or whatever they had been promising the family for years, and sure the wife was set, but then the cleaning folks came in with dollys and just threw EVERYTHING the poor bastards had into a dumpster. Research data, nearly finished manuscripts, all the things that poor bastard had traded for his last 5 years on earth, into a dumpster without so much as a by your leave to his colleagues.

Your patients will find other dentists to fix their teeth after you quit, I promise.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Golden Oxen on November 27, 2015, 10:28:00 PM
Quote
I have been pushing the Eastern Shore, Cape Cod, the coast of Maine,

Excellent choices MKing. In the summer months there are no other places on earth nicer in my opinion.

Your wife is probably thinking about Winter in her choices, women are very practical and wise when it comes to these choices.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 28, 2015, 08:52:21 AM
And then they died one afternoon, without ever having gone to Tahiti with the wives or whatever they had been promising the family for years, and sure the wife was set, but then the cleaning folks came in with dollys and just threw EVERYTHING the poor bastards had into a dumpster. Research data, nearly finished manuscripts, all the things that poor bastard had traded for his last 5 years on earth, into a dumpster without so much as a by your leave to his colleagues.

Your patients will find other dentists to fix their teeth after you quit, I promise.


We all die, some afternoon. The thing is......I've taken the wife to the islands, and Europe, and Mexico, and South America. We've climbed mountains and sailed oceans and skied the deep powder, and done most of the other things we wanted to do, while we were young enough to still enjoy doing them. My bucket list is pretty short.

I do fantasize about sailing away, but that really isn't much of a life for old people, unless you've done it so long it's become a way of life, and I haven't. I see boats, really nice boats, for sale nearly every day, and the reason they're for sale is because somebody got too old to enjoy sailing them.


Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Golden Oxen on November 28, 2015, 09:04:03 AM
Quote
I see boats, really nice boats, for sale nearly every day, and the reason they're for sale is because somebody got too old to enjoy sailing them.

Sure sounds reasonable Eddie, but I wouldn't rule out economic conditions and the need for cash as well.

A boat, unlike an auto, is something most can rid themselves of and considered a luxury item. Who knows Ed, just a hunch on my part.  :dontknow:
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 28, 2015, 09:10:31 AM
People sell the boats mostly to get out from under the slip fees, the actual vessels themselves having depreciated in value so much as to be nearly a total loss. I see boats that cost more than half a million for sale for less than 100K fairly often.

I can't think of a worse way to spend money, unless the boat is your house, and even then, it sucks compared to a dwelling on land, as an investment.

It has one major advantage, and that't the ability to raise anchor and get out of town in a hurry. That, and you can fish from your living room.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 28, 2015, 09:13:30 AM
But it would be sweet to anchor out in Coral Bay for a couple of years, while such a place still exists.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 28, 2015, 09:16:13 AM
It will be interesting to see what next year's hurricane season does. A badass La Nina could bring the storms back to the Caribbean with a vengeance. I might decide to give St. John a pass next August.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on November 28, 2015, 09:16:44 AM
Quote
I have been pushing the Eastern Shore, Cape Cod, the coast of Maine,

Excellent choices MKing. In the summer months there are no other places on earth nicer in my opinion.

Your wife is probably thinking about Winter in her choices, women are very practical and wise when it comes to these choices.

She loves walking beaches, even in winter. Even more so, because there is no one around. I like it just for the view, I once spent a week writing a paper from a summer rental on Top Sail island, computer and monitor outside on the back deck, 100' from the surf, drinking soft drinks and watching the family play in the sand. I'm a woodland and mountains boy, but I have to admit there is something about the sound, and smell, and presence of an ocean sitting right there out the living room window.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on November 28, 2015, 09:24:25 AM
And then they died one afternoon, without ever having gone to Tahiti with the wives or whatever they had been promising the family for years, and sure the wife was set, but then the cleaning folks came in with dollys and just threw EVERYTHING the poor bastards had into a dumpster. Research data, nearly finished manuscripts, all the things that poor bastard had traded for his last 5 years on earth, into a dumpster without so much as a by your leave to his colleagues.

Your patients will find other dentists to fix their teeth after you quit, I promise.


We all die, some afternoon. The thing is......I've taken the wife to the islands, and Europe, and Mexico, and South America. We've climbed mountains and sailed oceans and skied the deep powder, and done most of the other things we wanted to do, while we were young enough to still enjoy doing them. My bucket list is pretty short.

I'm not talking bucket list. I'm talking TIME. Sure, you and I both have been able to do the cool stuff that some people need to wait for retirement to accomplish, that isn't my point. When you retire, the one thing I've noticed among those who have is that the very CONCEPT of time changes. There is no pressure any more to accomplish this today, so you can accomplish that tomorrow. If you don't get it done today? BIG DEAL. You do it tomorrow. Snowstorm across the center of the country while on a road trip? BIG DEAL. Spend time where you are and wait until it passes.

That is the one thing that looks different to retirees, and sure, some of them use it to do the things they missed when working. That isn't the perspective I'm talking about, other than the fact that MY wife would desire to spend her time on or near a beach until time expires.

Quote from: Eddie
I do fantasize about sailing away, but that really isn't much of a life for old people, unless you've done it so long it's become a way of life, and I haven't. I see boats, really nice boats, for sale nearly every day, and the reason they're for sale is because somebody got too old to enjoy sailing them.

You are talking about adventures and neat hobbys and interests, I am talking about the most precious resource known too mankind.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 28, 2015, 09:32:12 AM
If you want to really understand how time changes when you slow down, I suggest sailing a boat across an ocean. Life spent sailing quietly at 5 knots for a couple of weeks will do that like nothing else, imho.

My father-in-law retired at 65 and then played golf every day for nearly 25 years, until his sight finally failed. I'm not wired like that. I need to stay busy doing something that means something to me.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Golden Oxen on November 28, 2015, 09:48:45 AM
Quote
I have been pushing the Eastern Shore, Cape Cod, the coast of Maine,

Excellent choices MKing. In the summer months there are no other places on earth nicer in my opinion.

Your wife is probably thinking about Winter in her choices, women are very practical and wise when it comes to these choices.

She loves walking beaches, even in winter. Even more so, because there is no one around. I like it just for the view, I once spent a week writing a paper from a summer rental on Top Sail island, computer and monitor outside on the back deck, 100' from the surf, drinking soft drinks and watching the family play in the sand. I'm a woodland and mountains boy, but I have to admit there is something about the sound, and smell, and presence of an ocean sitting right there out the living room window.

The ocean has a hypnotic effect on me. My best thinking comes when near the ocean. The sound of it is relaxing and seems to just calm me down completely and it enables me to think unencumbered with distractions. It seems I'm in another world when next to the ocean. The folks who may be near me, or in view, seem to be in another dimension as well. Winter or summer, the effect on me is the same.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on November 28, 2015, 10:31:12 AM
If you want to really understand how time changes when you slow down, I suggest sailing a boat across an ocean. Life spent sailing quietly at 5 knots for a couple of weeks will do that like nothing else, imho.

I'm an extreme backpacker type, my idea of peace and solitude is walking across a million acres of forest. The sitting around on a boat just wouldn't have done it for an active young man like I once was. Nowadays, I think I can enjoy sitting near the beach as much as being out on the water.

Quote from: Eddie
My father-in-law retired at 65 and then played golf every day for nearly 25 years, until his sight finally failed. I'm not wired like that. I need to stay busy doing something that means something to me.

Doing dentistry seems like you doing what you do means more to others. I could see golf though, even though I don't play. I could also see RVing from Key West to Prudhoe, sea to shining sea, I enjoy watching trees and landscape go by. Events maybe, take in some NFL games, or symphonies, visit the kids as an excuse to see yet another state, that sort of thing.

I think I will miss being "in on" things though. I enjoy big stakes gaming, the kind done around a table with friends in front of the fireplace just doesn't have the pizzaz of moving stock markets or shifting the official position of an entire government.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: azozeo on November 28, 2015, 10:50:49 AM
When we're creative & connected to nature, we're vibrating T the Schuman Resonance .....

Kathy has a way with the animals & critters around here. She goes out from the screened in
patio out back & says something & all the quail,dove & others come out from the bushes expecting
a snack. It's absolutely amazing to watch.

I feel very at home up at the mine. Chunking off bits from the hanging wall vein. All my partners
are that way as well.

It's a harmonic  love affair we have with earth mommy  :icon_sunny:
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Golden Oxen on November 28, 2015, 01:20:17 PM
When we're creative & connected to nature, we're vibrating T the Schuman Resonance .....

Kathy has a way with the animals & critters around here. She goes out from the screened in
patio out back & says something & all the quail,dove & others come out from the bushes expecting
a snack. It's absolutely amazing to watch.

I feel very at home up at the mine. Chunking off bits from the hanging wall vein. All my partners
are that way as well.

It's a harmonic  love affair we have with earth mommy  :icon_sunny:

Hi AZ, Yes I can dig it. Harmony, as you say.

Trucks and cars, fast food signs and engine noise, traffic lights and TV commercials, Google ads popping up on your favorite web sites, eateries and taverns with their sports TV's, just don't soothe the soul like a quiet retreat back to nature.  :laugh:
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on November 28, 2015, 04:03:43 PM
I can't think of anything to do with retirement that I haven't done, even if I was still fit to do it.  I've been to Hawaii and Tahiti.  I've been to South America and Europe and Oz.  Never made it to China, but I can do without breathing that air before I die.

I can look right outside the window of my McHovel and see the trees and the mountains every day.  When my work coaching gymnastics which was also my passion was taken away from me by my disability, I was fortunate I had another passion to fall back on, writing about the Collapse of Industrial Civilization and running the Doomstead Diner.  I can do that anywhere there is a connection to the Internet and one place is pretty much the same as the next one, although this one is pretty good since the food store is just a few blocks away and my bathroom is Handicap equipped with the nice bars to help me get in and out of the shower without falling.

Like Eddie, I still do dream about getting that big sailboat I always dreamed about in my youth while I had my subscriptions to Sail Magazine and Cruising World.  However, I am hardly fit to be sailing such a craft these days, I can probably still steer the rudder in calm weather, but I certainly cannot hoist sails in any weather at all.  So that will probably remain a dream for me until I pass into the Great Beyond, but sometimes dreams are better than reality anyhow.  In my dreams the engine never breaks down, I don't have slip fees to pay, there's no maintenance to do and I never get pitch-poled by a rogue wave either.  lol.

I am happy though to now have my days free to write as I please, get up when I feel like it, no tests in school to study for anymore, no bosses or supervisors to keep happy and off my back, no worries about quitting or getting fired because of an argument with said bosses either.  I'm not even worried about when Social Security will fail, because when that happens the whole rest of the society will come crashing down right with it and everybody will be in the same boat.  Then I will be able to pass into the Great Beyond with the satisfaction of having been proved right.  lol.

Until that day comes however, I have my writing and I have my dreams.  I still do dream all the time that I was the navigator on that first cat rigged sailing canoe that made it to the Big Island of Hawaii 1000 years ago, when it was still pristine and as yet not ruined by human hands.  Perhaps I was, and perhaps I will be there again and for all eternity when I leave this decrepit package I am currently encased in.

(https://www.nlm.nih.gov/nativevoices/assets/exhibition/section/OB1674.jpeg)

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: azozeo on November 29, 2015, 09:05:33 AM




Until that day comes however, I have my writing and I have my dreams.  I still do dream all the time that I was the navigator on that first cat rigged sailing canoe that made it to the Big Island of Hawaii 1000 years ago, when it was still pristine and as yet not ruined by human hands.  Perhaps I was, and perhaps I will be there again and for all eternity when I leave this decrepit package I am currently encased in.

(https://www.nlm.nih.gov/nativevoices/assets/exhibition/section/OB1674.jpeg)

RE
[/quote]



When you have feelings of past lives like that, it's a sure sign that the veil
is thinning. You're remembering will increase over time.
Before you know it, you'll have the Akashic records to thumb through.
That outta' keep you busy  :icon_sunny:
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on November 29, 2015, 09:32:41 AM
When you have feelings of past lives like that, it's a sure sign that the veil
is thinning. You're remembering will increase over time.
Before you know it, you'll have the Akashic records to thumb through.
That outta' keep you busy  :icon_sunny:

I have the Reader's Digest version of the Akashic Records right now in my dreams, I hope to read the Full Text when I pass into the Great Beyond.  :icon_sunny:

If I can find an Internet connection after I get there, I will write a complete review and publish it on the Doomstead Diner.  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- A Taste of Honey
Post by: Eddie on November 29, 2015, 04:28:12 PM
I decided to harvest just a bit of honey from one of the hives that's doing great. I was going to take one frame but by the time I had one side 3/4 stripped of filled honey comb, I had a full pint, so I placed the frame, still over half full, into the hive that hasn't made much honey in its upper box. I don't think the bees will mind my socialist tendencies.

I don't have a separator yet, but I'll need one by next year the way it looks. Hopefully I'll add some more hives out at the stead in the spring. With a hand-cranked centrifugal separator and an electric hot knife to uncap the frames, I'll be able to spare the wax and let the bees reuse the same comb.

This honey is dark and almost tastes like molasses. The fall honey flow has come primarily (I think anyway) from the CYF's (common yellow flowers) that grow in abundance here in the canyon. I think the real name is Maximillian sunflowers, although we also have Lindheimer's senna, too. I have seen the bees all over them this fall during our runs and walks down in the greenbelt along Barton Creek.

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_nBZFaTrURo8/TL3l6a2QAaI/AAAAAAAAAEE/beC7UCnQ-JY/s320/DSC00936.JPG)
Maximillian sunflowers

(http://npsot.org/wp/boerne/files/2013/09/lindheimers_senna2-300x225.jpg)
Lindheimer's senna

Some tasty stuff. Think I'll have just a another spoonful.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- A Taste of Honey
Post by: RE on November 29, 2015, 10:00:56 PM
You need to get your better half to shoot a Pic of you in your Bee Outfit!  :icon_sunny:

Eddy Raids the Hive, Stealing from the Rich Bees and Giving to the Poor Bees, and taking his Piece of the Action
(http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/DM-Resize/photos.demandstudios.com/getty/article/117/201/87800693.jpg?w=600&h=600&keep_ratio=1&webp=1)

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 30, 2015, 02:45:32 PM
That could be me, in the pic you posted. My suit looks just like that, except it's nylon. Nylon, according to my teacher, is the way to go, and I've never really been stung in my suit, although if I wear shorts and t-shirt under it then I can occasionally feel a little venom coming through, like a partial sting...but they can't leave the stinger in you if you have the suit on. I also have gloves with long extensions that are like garters and fit tight above the elbow.

Some people think bee venom is therapeutic (if you aren't allergic, of course). It is said that bee keepers never get arthritis. Dunno if it's true.

It is very easy to get freaked out and think you have a bee inside the suit, when you get a hive really stirred up and they go ballistic. This time of year, with the cool weather (45F) they aren't aggressive at all. But in summer, they are sometimes. Bees remind me a little bit of reptiles, very temperature sensitive as far as behavior.

I usually don't use smoke, and depend on my suit to protect me, but sometimes a little smoke is nice to have. You really should make a habit out of firing up a smoker just in case....but it's hard to keep it lit. Takes practice.

Here it is common for neglected hives to eventually go feral with killer bees introducing African genetics, so you have to be prepared for war when you go into the bee yard, and re-queening a hive should be done routinely if you notice the bees getting aggressive.

My bee source is not advertising full hives for next spring. I'm hoping they find some to sell. I'm not as big a fan of  package bees and nucs, which are partial hives. It's so hard to get hives started here because of the harsh summer weather and the drought. I was lucky to have gotten the hives I did.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 30, 2015, 03:14:14 PM
I have the Reader's Digest version of the Akashic Records right now in my dreams, I hope to read the Full Text when I pass into the Great Beyond.  :icon_sunny:

"There is a song I sing in a dream." --- Michael Martin Murphey, South Canadian River Song

I noticed I was playing this one in my dreams last night. Loved this song when I was 17, and the author was just plain old Michael Murphy from Austin Texas. Nice tune, sort of a fugue.

http://www.youtube.com/v/-GYWtqFTKBY&fs=1
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on November 30, 2015, 03:38:56 PM

My bee source is not advertising full hives for next spring. I'm hoping they find some to sell. I'm not as big a fan of  package bees and nucs, which are partial hives. It's so hard to get hives started here because of the harsh summer weather and the drought. I was lucky to have gotten the hives I did.

Can't you star your own new hives?  How do bees normally start new hives on their own?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Golden Oxen on November 30, 2015, 03:49:09 PM
I have the Reader's Digest version of the Akashic Records right now in my dreams, I hope to read the Full Text when I pass into the Great Beyond.  :icon_sunny:

"There is a song I sing in a dream." --- Michael Martin Murphey, South Canadian River Song

I noticed I was playing this one in my dreams last night. Loved this song when I was 17, and the author was just plain old Michael Murphy from Austin Texas. Nice tune, sort of a fugue.

http://www.youtube.com/v/-GYWtqFTKBY&fs=1

Thanks Eddie, A new one on me and a real treat,  lovely hypnotic presentation.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 30, 2015, 04:40:44 PM

My bee source is not advertising full hives for next spring. I'm hoping they find some to sell. I'm not as big a fan of  package bees and nucs, which are partial hives. It's so hard to get hives started here because of the harsh summer weather and the drought. I was lucky to have gotten the hives I did.

Can't you start your own new hives?  How do bees normally start new hives on their own?

RE

You can split hives in the spring if they are kicking ass, but you need to buy a new queen. Actually, they will produce their own queen ordinarily even if you don't, but typically it's quicker and easier to add a queen. More predictably successful.

By splitting hives, you make it harder for either one to produce maximum honey for that one year, so it's a trade-off.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on November 30, 2015, 04:51:20 PM

My bee source is not advertising full hives for next spring. I'm hoping they find some to sell. I'm not as big a fan of  package bees and nucs, which are partial hives. It's so hard to get hives started here because of the harsh summer weather and the drought. I was lucky to have gotten the hives I did.

Can't you start your own new hives?  How do bees normally start new hives on their own?

RE

You can split hives in the spring if they are kicking ass, but you need to buy a new queen. Actually, they will produce their own queen ordinarily even if you don't, but typically it's quicker and easier to add a queen. More predictably successful.

By splitting hives, you make it harder for either one to produce maximum honey for that one year, so it's a trade-off.

Well, you have 2 hives that appear to be doing well, so how about splitting them this spring and bringing the 2 new hives out to the Toothstead?  Since you project a few more years before TSHTF, you don't need the Honey right now anyhow, you can still buy it at Safeway.  Building your Bee Population numbers would seem to be the better trade here.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 30, 2015, 04:53:02 PM
I have the Reader's Digest version of the Akashic Records right now in my dreams, I hope to read the Full Text when I pass into the Great Beyond.  :icon_sunny:

"There is a song I sing in a dream." --- Michael Martin Murphey, South Canadian River Song

I noticed I was playing this one in my dreams last night. Loved this song when I was 17, and the author was just plain old Michael Murphy from Austin Texas. Nice tune, sort of a fugue.

http://www.youtube.com/v/-GYWtqFTKBY&fs=1

Thanks Eddie, A new one on me and a real treat,  lovely hypnotic presentation.

Glad you liked it. I think the whole album is pretty good. It's a period piece.


Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on November 30, 2015, 04:56:45 PM
Well, you have 2 hives that appear to be doing well, so how about splitting them this spring and bringing the 2 new hives out to the Toothstead?  Since you project a few more years before TSHTF, you don't need the Honey right now anyhow, you can still buy it at Safeway.  Building your Bee Population numbers would seem to be the better trade here.

If the weather is favorable and we have a good spring honey flow, it would be appropriate to do that, and I probably will. I'll probably buy some nucs anyway, if that's the best I can get. Most nucs claim to be a 1:1 split but the ones I got before were more like a hive split three ways.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on November 30, 2015, 05:14:56 PM
Well, you have 2 hives that appear to be doing well, so how about splitting them this spring and bringing the 2 new hives out to the Toothstead?  Since you project a few more years before TSHTF, you don't need the Honey right now anyhow, you can still buy it at Safeway.  Building your Bee Population numbers would seem to be the better trade here.

If the weather is favorable and we have a good spring honey flow, it would be appropriate to do that, and I probably will. I'll probably buy some nucs anyway, if that's the best I can get. Most nucs claim to be a 1:1 split but the ones I got before were more like a hive split three ways.

You should try Fermenting the Honey and making Mead also!  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on November 30, 2015, 08:28:42 PM
I usually don't use smoke, and depend on my suit to protect me, but sometimes a little smoke is nice to have. You really should make a habit out of firing up a smoker just in case....but it's hard to keep it lit. Takes practice.
LOL... when we covered bees in Animal Husbandry, I made damn sure the smoker kept working the entire time we were around the hives...
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on December 27, 2015, 04:00:39 PM
Yesterday the missus and I drove around north of Lake Travis to check out an interesting looking neighborhood that's completely surrounded by the multi-thousand acre Balcones Canyonlands Nature Preserve. It was a balmy 75 degrees and slightly rainy, but otherwise unseasonably warm.

It was thirty degrees colder this morning, and all day I considered whether I should drive out to the lake house and put engine warmers on in the boats, but the forecast wasn't that bad earlier, with temperatures slightly above freezing forecast for tonight. Moments ago I decided to make a late run out there anyway, but before I could get out of my neighborhood here I ran into a short but violent hailstorm, and barely made it back up the hill to the house on streets that were instantly paved with ice.

I think the boats will just have to make it through tonight without heat.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on December 27, 2015, 04:23:36 PM
Yesterday the missus and I drove around north of Lake Travis to check out an interesting looking neighborhood that's completely surrounded by the multi-thousand acre Balcones Canyonlands Nature Preserve. It was a balmy 75 degrees and slightly rainy, but otherwise unseasonably warm.

It was thirty degrees colder this morning, and all day I considered whether I should drive out to the lake house and put engine warmers on in the boats, but the forecast wasn't that bad earlier, with temperatures slightly above freezing forecast for tonight. Moments ago I decided to make a late run out there anyway, but before I could get out of my neighborhood here I ran into a short but violent hailstorm, and barely made it back up the hill to the house on streets that were instantly paved with ice.

I think the boats will just have to make it through tonight without heat.

Weather gone wild seems to have TX as Epicenter these days.  Take some PICS!

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on December 27, 2015, 04:28:26 PM
The hail has mostly melted off already.

I tried to get back out again and discovered I had a flat before I had driven a mile. Nursed it back home and now considering whether I'd rather change a flat in the current nasty slushy wet, or wait for morning and do it in a drier but colder environment. I'm supposed to be at work at 7 am.  ;D
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on December 27, 2015, 04:54:39 PM
The hail has mostly melted off already.

I tried to get back out again and discovered I had a flat before I had driven a mile. Nursed it back home and now considering whether I'd rather change a flat in the current nasty slushy wet, or wait for morning and do it in a drier but colder environment. I'm supposed to be at work at 7 am.  ;D

I am going to buy you a Lookcie Camera to wear on your ear so you don't miss these events in the future.  lol.

Cant you change the tire in the Garage?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on December 29, 2015, 06:03:55 AM
I am caving to the system and buying a farm tractor. A brand spanking new, made in China 55HP diesel, with a front end loader and a front end root grapple. My projects on the stead have been on hold for a while, mostly because the hydraulic system failed on my old vintage tractor, and I couldn't decide if it was worth repairing. Been sitting a couple of years.

Frankly, my business needs the tax deduction, and I've already spent an equal amount on office upgrades. I've thought it through, and I think it's a reasonable investment. Debt, yes, but a long term low payment note at 5% fixed interest, no penalty for pre-payment. 100% write-off, up front, this year, thanks to the US Congress.

I'm back to building fences as soon as it's delivered, which should be a couple of days. I also have numerous other ongoing projects that will be greatly facilitated by the new acquisition. The tax benefits have been explained to the missus but she is not happy. I hope she gets over it.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on December 29, 2015, 06:07:15 AM
I am caving to the system and buying a farm tractor. A brand spanking new, made in China 55HP diesel, with a front end loader and a front end root grapple. My projects on the stead have been on hold for a while, mostly because the hydraulic system failed on my old vintage tractor, and I couldn't decide if it was worth repairing. Been sitting a couple of years.

Frankly, my business needs the tax deduction, and I've already spent an equal amount on office upgrades. I've thought it through, and I think it's a reasonable investment. Debt, yes, but a long term low payment note at 5% fixed interest, no penalty for pre-payment. 100% write-off, up front, this year, thanks to the US Congress.

I'm back to building fences as soon as it's delivered, which should be a couple of days. I also have numerous other ongoing projects that will be greatly facilitated by the new acquisition. The tax benefits have been explained to the missus but she is not happy. I hope she gets over it.

No good used Tractors on the market at all?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on December 29, 2015, 06:14:55 AM
You can't get anywhere close to the same deal on financing used equipment, and you get no warranty. I have two used tractors now, both of which have problems...that's not counting the backhoe, which is still working okay. Wanna buy one of mine? They're for sale, cheap.

 I'm tired of playing the game of constantly having to repair old broken shit. Tractors are big and heavy, and hard to load on a trailer and take to a repair shop if they aren't running. This one looks pretty good, and will probably outlast me.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on December 29, 2015, 06:20:21 AM
You can't get anywhere close to the same deal on financing used equipment, and you get no warranty. I have two used tractors now, both of which have problems...that's not counting the backhoe, which is still working okay. Wanna buy one of mine? They're for sale, cheap.

 I'm tired of playing the game of constantly having to repair old broken shit. Tractors are big and heavy, and hard to load on a trailer and take to a repair shop if they aren't running. This one looks pretty good, and will probably outlast me.

Reasonable enough.  Better prep than Gold anyhow.   :icon_mrgreen:

Now you gotta start working on producing your own Biodiesel.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on December 29, 2015, 06:31:44 AM
I might add that used tractors are not particularly cheap around here. They hold their value pretty well.

My research, consisting of reading every CL ad for the past five years, leads me to believe that good used tractors and good used pick-up trucks are few and far between, and cost a lot more than they should.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Golden Oxen on December 29, 2015, 09:40:35 AM
I might add that used tractors are not particularly cheap around here. They hold their value pretty well.

My research, consisting of reading every CL ad for the past five years, leads me to believe that good used tractors and good used pick-up trucks are few and far between, and cost a lot more than they should.

Hi Eddie, Not arguing with you, not an area I know a thing about.

Just surprised from a financial or economic perspective. Was under the impression there was lots of them for sale.

Is it because anyone looking to buy will only buy used? My gold bug readings had led me to believe there was stuff for sale all over due to low commodity prices. Posting this WSJ headline not to prove my point, but to show you where the impression comes from.

The news world and real world are often very different, especially these days. :icon_scratch:

Deere Profit Tumbles Amid Glut of Used Farm Equipment at Dealers
Slump in demand for new tractors, as crop prices fall


http://www.wsj.com/articles/deere-reports-decline-in-profit-as-sales-tumble-1440158935 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/deere-reports-decline-in-profit-as-sales-tumble-1440158935)   Nothing to see but headline, subscription required.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on December 29, 2015, 11:02:57 AM
I said good USED tractors are hard to find here. Not sure about elsewhere.

The article you quoted is ( I think, I couldn't access the entire text) referring to NEW equipment, which is a good deal right now. I got a good deal. (Good deal being a relative term.)

 But in general, the glut is in heavy equipment, like bulldozers and earth moving equipment. Not in small farm tractors, which are mostly bought by little guys like me with hobby farms. Deere sells equipment to companies that mine the tar sands, and to China, and worldwide. Big ticket items.

 Real row crop tractors used in Big Ag cost 4-5 times more than the one I'm getting, and generally are worked for many years before being fully depreciated. My wife has cousins who are real farmers, the kind who farm thousands of acres. That business has been in decline for a generation, and truthfully, has always been risky from a business standpoint. It's very equipment intensive, and if the cash doesn't flow, the farm goes belly up within a year or two.

The thing is, there are different markets, and different demand for different types of tractors, in different states. If the economy really tanks here, I'm sure there will be more great buys to be had going forward...if you have the money or the credit.

Title: Mapping Where the Bees Die
Post by: RE on December 31, 2015, 03:21:29 PM
http://grist.org/food/this-map-shows-where-wild-bees-are-in-decline/ (http://grist.org/food/this-map-shows-where-wild-bees-are-in-decline/)

(https://grist.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/bees-e1403291979783.jpg?w=970&h=545&crop=1)

This map shows where wild bees are in decline
By Suzanne Jacobs on 29 Dec 2015 4 comments

You don’t have to be a world-class economist to know that if you have a product (supply) that lots of people are willing to pay for (demand), you probably shouldn’t kill whoever’s making it. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what we’re doing to wild bees in this country, and those little buzzers are responsible for the greatest product of all — food.

In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers report that wild bees are on the decline in the U.S., especially in agriculture-heavy regions of the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, California, the Great Plains, West Texas, and the southern Mississippi River valley.

This is a problem, because even if you fear and despise bees more than the devil himself, you presumably like food. Native pollinators like wild bees are responsible for more than 20 percent of America’s agricultural gross domestic product — about $3 billion of the industry’s annual income. Here’s more from the study:

    Between 2008 and 2013, modeled bee abundance declined across 23% of U.S. land area. This decline was generally associated with conversion of natural habitats to row crops. We identify 139 counties where low bee abundances correspond to large areas of pollinator-dependent crops. These areas of mismatch between supply (wild bee abundance) and demand (cultivated area) for pollination comprise 39% of the pollinator-dependent crop area in the United States.

This map shows those 139 counties where the supply and demand mismatch is greatest:
(https://grist.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/23525455799_5bd416275d_k.jpg?w=1024&h=512)

To make matters worse, many of the key crops in these hard-hit areas are the ones that most rely on wild pollinators, the researchers report. These include pumpkins, blueberries, peaches, apples, and watermelons.

This study marks the first time that we’ve had a comprehensive look at wild bee abundance in the U.S. — an important milestone, the researchers note, because the government issued a presidential memorandum in June 2014 calling for the protection of pollinator habitat.

And now, we have this beautiful — though disconcerting — map of that habitat:
(https://grist.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/wild-bee-abundance-across-the-us_23525455359_o.jpg?w=1024&h=512)

As Taylor Ricketts, a professor in the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and one of the study’s co-authors, said in a press release: “Wild bees are a precious natural resource we should celebrate and protect. If managed with care, they can help us continue to produce billions of dollars in agricultural income and a wonderful diversity of nutritious food.”

So here’s hoping that both this map and the memorandum do what they’re supposed to do — not for the bees, not even for the economy. But because as the people who invented “food porn,” we simply couldn’t carry on as a society if anything happened to this precious resource.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on January 01, 2016, 12:23:17 PM
Spent the day yesterday learning how to handle the new energy slave out on the stead. I bought a root grapple to go with the tractor, which came stock with a front end loader. Looks sorta like this, although it isn't the orange brand.

(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRL9TMgQU8KbzpDJtKns_8uEASzMsQ7G8WAZW6yixtvN0PZNTmi)

I moved a couple of tons of old brush-tops from where they'd been randomly piled by the prior owner years ago, and used them to construct an erosion barrier across one of the dry washes up on the edge of the 80 foot cliffs that rise up above the creek bottom. I will be able to cut much of the invasive juniper off the place with my chain saw, harvest enough fence posts and small logs for some future applications, and then dispose of the rest of the bushes up in the upland gullies. I also have a badass wood chipper I bought a few years back, which I've never used, since it runs off the tractor PTO (which was busted on the old tractor).

For the moment, though, I'm going to hook up the Beltec TM-48 posthole digger, which is what killed the weak hydraulics on the old tractor. I need to build some fences if the place is ever to play host to a few farm animals, which I'd like to have eventually.

(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRIPCOgyeDKx9ZDQ281tkIbok139SYlDRubG8k78xGPouAt60fPsg)

One thing...these new turbo diesel tractors, which have engines that are tiny compared to the old days, are also low emissions. They capture unburned fuel particulates and then reburn them periodically in what the tractor rep called a "regeneration". I worked for 4 or 5 hours straight yesterday and burned only a quarter tank of fuel.

The beast has a hydrostatic transmission, with no clutch. One pedal for forward, another for reverse. Push the pedal harder to go faster. It's very simple and ergonomic. The loader and grapple run off a single joystick with a button to open and close the grapple. Sweet!

Looking forward to getting some of my long delayed projects back on track. I've decided to sell both the old tractors to try to recoup a little fiat. The new one will easily replace both the old compact Kubota and the ancient IHC. It will even run my cement mixer.




Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on January 01, 2016, 12:29:35 PM
Spent the day yesterday learning how to handle the new energy slave out on the stead. I bought a root grapple to go with the tractor, which came stock with a front end loader. Looks sorta like this, although it isn't the orange brand.

(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRL9TMgQU8KbzpDJtKns_8uEASzMsQ7G8WAZW6yixtvN0PZNTmi)

I moved a couple of tons of old brush-tops from where they'd been randomly piled by the prior owner years ago, and used them to construct an erosion barrier across one of the dry washes up on the edge of the 80 foot cliffs that rise up above the creek bottom. I will be able to cut much of the invasive juniper off the place with my chain saw, harvest enough fence posts and small logs for some future applications, and then dispose of the rest of the bushes up in the upland gullies. I also have a badass wood chipper I bought a few years back, which I've never used, since it runs off the tractor PTO (which was busted on the old tractor).

For the moment, though, I'm going to hook up the Beltec TM-48 posthole digger, which is what killed the weak hydraulics on the old tractor. I need to build some fences if the place is ever to play host to a few farm animals, which I'd like to have eventually.

(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRIPCOgyeDKx9ZDQ281tkIbok139SYlDRubG8k78xGPouAt60fPsg)

One thing...these new turbo diesel tractors, which have engines that are tiny compared to the old days, are also low emissions. They capture unburned fuel particulates and then reburn them periodically in what the tractor rep called a "regeneration". I worked for 4 or 5 hours straight yesterday and burned only a quarter tank of fuel.

The beast has a hydrostatic transmission, with no clutch. One pedal for forward, another for reverse. Push the pedal harder to go faster. It's very simple and ergonomic. The loader and grapple run off a single joystick with a button to open and close the grapple. Sweet!

Looking forward to getting some of my long delayed projects back on track. I've decided to sell both the old tractors to try to recoup a little fiat. The new one will easily replace both the old compact Kubota and the ancient IHC. It will even run my cement mixer.

Sounds like a cool new toy!

Set a Camera up on a Tripod and make some Videos for Diner YouTube!  It's the future Cash Cow for SUN  :icon_sunny:.  Diner YouTube is monetized with ads.  Instructional Videos on 12V and setting up a Doomstead are just what we need to really pack in the viewers!

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on January 27, 2016, 02:34:17 PM
Very occasionally, I like to play with guns.

 Lately I haven't been shooting much, though. And the laser target pistol goes through batteries like you wouldn't believe, so i haven't practiced with that as much as I intended to, either. The pellet guns are more fun.

I drop into Cabelas maybe every two months, and it's been my habit to buy a few boxes of ammo. Yesterday I did a quick prep inventory, and decided i have enough. Barring a prolonged shooting war, I'm set for life.

I've also been buying arrows and broadheads and field points...but my stash of those is nowhere near as as good as the  bullets. From now on, I will concentrate on those. They might be more valuable, ultimately.

I took out the guns in my collection and held them one by one. The big semi-auto Hakim, chambered in the Nazi 7.92 mm Mauser, weighing maybe 9 pounds, but still with the kick of a mule. The Marlin guide guns in .45/70, one with a ring site and the other with a custom scope with integral bullet drop correction. Good to shoot a horse or a buffalo at 500 yards.

The two Ruger Mini's, one in stock furniture, the other with a Clark bull barrel and scope. The AK with its 75 round drum, never need to reload, just keep shooting until the targets are all accounted for.

The .22's.... three of which are custom builds done by me, each a little different. One in .22 magnum with a carbon fiber barrel and a decent scope by Simmons, a good shooter for any game up to and including deer. One with Clark trigger. All bull barrels with scopes or laser sights. My favorite .22. a vintage Winchester Model 62, worth a lot of  money now.

My trusty Nazi Mauser with its swastikas, Timney trigger and Shilen barrel. Leuold scope, the best glass of all of them. The pistols, the 1896 Broomhandle Mauser with attachable stock, rechambered for the same round as my other pistol a 7.63X25mm CZ52 of Soviet vintage.



And a few more of lesser note. Am I a gun nut? I don't think so, a bit of a collector, perhaps, but not nearly as addicted as some people I've known. I've always loved shooting. I wasn't taught to love guns, or to even own guns, but I was taught to respect them, and how to handle them...by my father, who was an exacting task master.





Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on January 27, 2016, 03:58:25 PM
I call this "The gun that lost the Six Day War."

It's a damn good rifle, but wasn't very effective against Israelis in US made tanks. I'm afraid that's a lesson doomers need to remember and take to heart.

It's Egyptian, but they bought the design and the tooling from the Swedes, who have always been fine gunsmiths.

http://www.youtube.com/v/cBKfpDXYBbo&fs=1
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on January 27, 2016, 04:43:56 PM
I call this "The gun that lost the Six Day War."

It's a damn good rifle, but wasn't very effective against Israelis in US made tanks.

Wouldn't have been of much use against Israelis in general, considering that Muslims ain't the only gang fighting for God, and the Israelis being far more motivated and capable in general. Plus when the towel heads gained Russian equipment they didn't fair any better.

Quote from: Eddie

 I'm afraid that's a lesson doomers need to remember and take to heart.

Don't be an Arab pussy...got it. Hell, don't be a pussy in general. You do realize that as we have recently been shown, we have people in this forum afraid of SNOW...right? And being pulled over by the cops?

Methinks you are pitching to the wrong audience.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on January 27, 2016, 05:57:05 PM
I call this "The gun that lost the Six Day War."

It's a damn good rifle, but wasn't very effective against Israelis in US made tanks.

Wouldn't have been of much use against Israelis in general, considering that Muslims ain't the only gang fighting for God, and the Israelis being far more motivated and capable in general. Plus when the towel heads gained Russian equipment they didn't fair any better.

Quote from: Eddie

 I'm afraid that's a lesson doomers need to remember and take to heart.

Don't be an Arab pussy...got it. Hell, don't be a pussy in general. You do realize that as we have recently been shown, we have people in this forum afraid of SNOW...right? And being pulled over by the cops?

Methinks you are pitching to the wrong audience.

Who you callin' a pussy? LOL. We're two aging white guys talking on a doomer forum. Nobody takes any of this seriously, right?

The Israelis were and are pretty ready to fight, I'll agree with you there. And they took the high ground, which is another principle to remember.

But my point is that the likeliest threat to anyone prospering in a real collapse scenario would be Authority with a Capital A. I can hold my own with zombies. Not so military and militarized cops. I'd be at their mercy. Good thing I know how to do some things that might be considered valuable.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on January 27, 2016, 06:35:02 PM

But my point is that the likeliest threat to anyone prospering in a real collapse scenario would be Authority with a Capital A. I can hold my own with zombies. Not so military and militarized cops. I'd be at their mercy. Good thing I know how to do some things that might be considered valuable.

That is definitively true, especially in the case of Monetary System Collapse.  Local Police forces, National Guard and Military bases will "Go Rogue" with their equipment and establish small fiefdoms under their control.

It will begin as a general declaration of Martial Law, but as logistics begin to fail and individual bases are not getting resupplied, nor are they receiving working paychecks that buy anything, the local Brigadier General will begin ordering the troops to "commandeer" what is necessary to "maintain order".  Well fit out Doomsteads will be taken over as food supply bases.

So in this situation you need to work with the local Warlord and have something to offer on a continuing basis other than your land and its food, which is now his land and his food.

I am counting on my Smoked Rack of Lamb (or Big Horn Sheep, or Moose ribs), my Cold Smoked Nova and Gravlax, my Halibut Chowder, my Secret Bear Meat Pastrami which is even fattier and jucier than the pastrami at Katz's Delicatessen and my Chicken Soup to keep me alive and cooking in the Kitchen of the Supreme and Beloved Commander.  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Golden Oxen on January 28, 2016, 04:42:17 AM
Quote
Don't be an Arab pussy...got it. Hell, don't be a pussy in general. You do realize that as we have recently been shown, we have people in this forum afraid of SNOW...right?

It's not so much Snow as two or three feet of it tough guy.

And don't suggest that I'm a pussy you common laborer you.

Some of us are tough and vicious combatants with our minds rather than manual labor.

Now don't get me wrong Moriarty, there is nothing wrong with being a common laborer in an oil camp, we all have different talents.

They call GO "Attila the Hun" on Wall Street.  ;D                                                                               
Heh Tough Guys
Heh Tough Guys
http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/Themes/doom1/images/bbc/smg.gif

Up your Kazzoo to Surly, for calling me the "Effete GO", you friggin Ruffians are all jealous of me.     

                                                                 
GO AKA Attila the Hun
GO AKA Attila the Hun


                                                                             (http://www.tamabi.ac.jp/idd/shiro/muqarnas/eurasia/hun/attila1.jpg)



                                                                                                           
Title: Great Deals on Farm Equipment!
Post by: RE on January 28, 2016, 04:21:07 PM
Looks like you may have overpaid for that tractor Eddie.

RE

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-28/250000-caterpillar-bulldozer-can-be-yours-low-low-price-5500 (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-28/250000-caterpillar-bulldozer-can-be-yours-low-low-price-5500)

This $250,000 Caterpillar Bulldozer Can Be Yours For The Low, Low Price Of $55

Tyler Durden's picture





 

After today's CAT earnings, in which the company not only announced a steep drop in revenues, profits and cash flow but also obliterated its guidance, cutting the midpoint of the 2016 revenue range (set just three months ago) from $45.5 billion to $42 bilion, it should have become clear to everyone just how bad the company's income statement is.

But what about its balance sheet and specifically that $10 billion in inventory? We got a glimpse back in November when we showed how at an auction in Australia, CAT loaders, excavators and tractors, with MSRPs in the millions, were selling for sub-pennies on the dollar, or as low as $15,000 for a machine that was originally sold for $2.9 million.

The post quickly went viral and while many readers were impressed by the collapse in demand (as reflected by the auction prices) for CAT equipment, some wished they too could participate in the bidding process: after all, what better way to make an impression on one's neighbors than to take a leisurely stroll down the street in a bulldozer, especially if its costs virtually nothing.

To all readers who wrote us complaining about this, you are in luck.

Below we present a Caterpillar D6T Bulldozer, a machine which has a "new" MSRP of over a million dollars, and which with over 5,000 hours of use, sells through reputable dealer channels, for around $250,000 each.

 

Or, as the case may be, does not sell because while $250,000 is well below the MSRP, it is clearly still too high for that occasional leisurely drive around the neighborhood. Or for any other purpose for that matter.

But what about $50?

Because that is what the bid is on the exact same dozer (one which has even less total use, or just 3680 hours) currently offered for sale on Proxibid, where with 20 hours left until the end of the auction, $50 is all someone is willing to spend for this heavy machinery marvel.

 

Here are some more photos of the gorgeous, barely used machine you could be the proud owner of for the low, low price of $55.00

 

Cherry on top: the high-end audio system comes included in the price.

 

What are the terms of the auction? Well, what you buy is pretty much what you get "as is." But surely there is a catch, like $249,950 shipping? Well no - you just have to go to Louisiana and pick it up.

But what if $50 feels too rich for this bulldozer? There is always this $10 Komatsu may be more up your alley.

Perhaps a bulldozer is not what you need: then how about this $110 Volvo excavator?

Or maybe neither a bulldozer nor an excavator is your cup of tea? That's fine: judging by these (lack of) bids, nobody else has an urge to splurge either.

Which brings us to our original question: if a bulldozer which retails new for over $1 million, can not sell via official channels For 250,000 and has a true price discovery in the hundreds if not tens of dollars, what does that suggest about i) the true mark on Caterpillar's $10 billion in Inventory, and ii) the losses that CAT's banks are starting at if they ever are forced to liquidate the "collateral" that backs their loans?

Source: Proxibid

Title: Re: Great Deals on Farm Equipment!
Post by: Golden Oxen on January 28, 2016, 05:34:41 PM
Quote
Looks like you may have overpaid for that tractor Eddie.

RE

I questioned Eddie about this very thing a while back and he claims it isn't true for equipment folks want used.

Eddie is no doubt telling the truth. Makes me  wonder just what the you can read anymore for a factual assessment.

Don't get me wrong, these companies are in BIG trouble. Stories like this though beg the question about how much BS is in these articles. Do they write them for attention and ratings? Do they leave out important facts and circumstances?

Without any proof, my instincts tell me it's a crock of shit, or these items need big dough spent on them to get them working properly.  :dontknow:


Title: Great Deals on Farm Equipment
Post by: Eddie on January 28, 2016, 05:44:59 PM
It's like eBay. The current bid price means absolutely nothing...so whoever wrote that piece has never bid on anything or bought anything.

(a)All the bid action takes place in the last few seconds of the auctions, and (b) these sellers can set a reserve if they want to, so the equipment doesn't sell if the bids are too low. No way could you actually get that kind of equipment for those prices.

 I'm guessing you might get a 250K piece of equipment for 100K, but it's as-is, where-is, no warranty, and you probably have to have proof of funds to bid, although that varies. You have to settle immediately, in cash. Then you pay maybe 5 bucks a mile to truck it home, and find out it has problems that were hidden. No thanks.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Updating the Food Preps
Post by: Eddie on February 16, 2016, 07:21:49 AM
It's been five years since I started stockpiling food preps. I know, because I dated the stuff I put in long term storage  (oxygen free buckets) at that time. I'm glad I did, because I have little memory of exactly what I stored and exactly when.

At that time I also bought two one-year food allotments from Pleasant Hill Grain, a Nebraska company that sells food packages that have been calculated to be nutritionally complete, lacking only fats and oils. At that time the family at home was eight people, so I was shooting for a three month supply for all of us. I had recently come to the conclusion that food preps were a good idea, given what I perceived as instability in the world's financial markets, and I didn't want to take the time to build up my heretofore empty pantry, so I went pre-fab.

All that stuff was guaranteed good for 25 years, stored in sealed oxygen free buckets too. I've been buying one liter cans of cheap olive oil and rotating through that, although it seems to keep pretty well in my cool basement utility room. I try to keep four liters. If something did happen and groceries got scarce, my first order of business would be to lay on more oils.

Since then, I've added to my original stash sporadically, buying canned meat and fish from Sam's Club, canned tomatoes and powdered milk. I bought bulk dried beans and rice, some of which has been sitting in regular bags, because I'd run out of storage buckets.

It was for the purpose of properly storing those semi-perishables, that I bought a dozen or so new buckets with sealable lids and more mylar bags and dragged out my commercial bag sealer.  But after getting started on that, it was obvious to me that I needed to do a complete inventory now, and try to figure out what I really have and don't have.

After hauling out the dusty top layer from my huge stack of boxes and buckets, I started to see a pattern. Specifically, I'm lacking fruit, nuts, and coffee. The four cases of powdered eggs I bought back in 2011 are due to pass their sell-by date in a couple of months now. Other than that, the only other casualty was a dented #10 can of tomatoes.

It'll take me several more hours to get a full inventory. My back will get a workout, but it feels good to be taking stock.

I expect I'm getting to the point that I should be able to stop stockpiling bulk rice and beans, and concentrate on the extras, like canned cheese and butter, which are nice to have but cost a small fortune. Canned fruit, maybe some dried fruit to go in storage buckets (note to self: get more buckets.)

Coffee. Beans, I guess. Do coffee beans store better than ground coffee?



Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Updating the Food Preps
Post by: jdwheeler42 on February 16, 2016, 08:56:08 AM
Coffee. Beans, I guess. Do coffee beans store better than ground coffee?
Absolutely, if you're comparing them in the same kind of container.  If you're looking at loose coffee beans in a sack versus ground coffee in a hermetically sealed can, though, it's not so clear which is better.

Another thing to consider... coffee withdrawal is really nasty.  It will make a nice barter item when it gets scarce.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 16, 2016, 09:34:16 AM
I'd be using my double-sealing technique with an oxygen depleted mylar bag inside an oxygen depleted sealed food-grade bucket, either way.

The thing is, coffee is actually hard as hell to grind by hand. I have a nice manual coffee grinder, but it takes quite  lot of work just to grind enough beans for a fresh pot.

http://www.youtube.com/v/fhdCslFcKFU&fs=1
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Updating the Food Preps
Post by: RE on February 16, 2016, 11:44:17 AM
It's been five years since I started stockpiling food preps. I know, because I dated the stuff I put in long term storage  (oxygen free buckets) at that time. I'm glad I did, because I have little memory of exactly what I stored and exactly when.

At that time I also bought two one-year food allotments from Pleasant Hill Grain, a Nebraska company that sells food packages that have been calculated to be nutritionally complete, lacking only fats and oils. At that time the family at home was eight people, so I was shooting for a three month supply for all of us. I had recently come to the conclusion that food preps were a good idea, given what I perceived as instability in the world's financial markets, and I didn't want to take the time to build up my heretofore empty pantry, so I went pre-fab.

All that stuff was guaranteed good for 25 years, stored in sealed oxygen free buckets too. I've been buying one liter cans of cheap olive oil and rotating through that, although it seems to keep pretty well in my cool basement utility room. I try to keep four liters. If something did happen and groceries got scarce, my first order of business would be to lay on more oils.

Since then, I've added to my original stash sporadically, buying canned meat and fish from Sam's Club, canned tomatoes and powdered milk. I bought bulk dried beans and rice, some of which has been sitting in regular bags, because I'd run out of storage buckets.

It was for the purpose of properly storing those semi-perishables, that I bought a dozen or so new buckets with sealable lids and more mylar bags and dragged out my commercial bag sealer.  But after getting started on that, it was obvious to me that I needed to do a complete inventory now, and try to figure out what I really have and don't have.

After hauling out the dusty top layer from my huge stack of boxes and buckets, I started to see a pattern. Specifically, I'm lacking fruit, nuts, and coffee. The four cases of powdered eggs I bought back in 2011 are due to pass their sell-by date in a couple of months now. Other than that, the only other casualty was a dented #10 can of tomatoes.

It'll take me several more hours to get a full inventory. My back will get a workout, but it feels good to be taking stock.

I expect I'm getting to the point that I should be able to stop stockpiling bulk rice and beans, and concentrate on the extras, like canned cheese and butter, which are nice to have but cost a small fortune. Canned fruit, maybe some dried fruit to go in storage buckets (note to self: get more buckets.)

Coffee. Beans, I guess. Do coffee beans store better than ground coffee?

First off, don't worry too much about the date on the containers.  Remember the Cream Cheese!  If/When you need it, open the oldest first.  If it's bad, go to the next one.

On the Oils, if they are sealed with no oxygen and away from the light, they won't go rancid.  They should be fine after several years.  I'll let you know when I get home.  I have 6 year old olive oil somewhere in the preps.  Sealed Crisco in a can will probably last until the Sun goes Red Giant.

On meats, besides canned, vaccum seal jerky.  You can reconstitute it soaking it in water and then cook with it like normal meat.  You don't have to chew on it like leather.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on February 16, 2016, 12:15:47 PM
I'd be using my double-sealing technique with an oxygen depleted mylar bag inside an oxygen depleted sealed food-grade bucket, either way.

The thing is, coffee is actually hard as hell to grind by hand. I have a nice manual coffee grinder, but it takes quite  lot of work just to grind enough beans for a fresh pot.
LOL... ever made bread from wheat berries?  There's a reason why the French word for bread is "pain".

I've been looking into this subject further.  The consensus seems to be:

1. It's roasting, not grinding, that really kills the shelf life of coffee.  For the longest-term storage, you should be storing green beans and roasting them yourself close to when you'll be using them.

2. Most commercial coffee is stale already, so if you're not roasting your own beans and are satisfied with the taste of your coffee, it won't change much in 20 years.

There is a difference of opinion on whether green coffee beans need to breathe or not.  If I went that route I'd probably hedge my bets and go half vacuum sealed with O2 absorbers and half in woven bags.  But first I'd probably just put a couple years worth of ground coffee in mylar.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 16, 2016, 05:09:32 PM
I got this for the wheat berries. I guess I could grind my coffee in it too, but then I might end up with highly caffeinated bread.

(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRqWSTPAMRsLzMyWjCE8ZoEO55BfI2NXBF0ksOi-_ARZkkxFgJH)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on February 16, 2016, 05:37:23 PM
How about hooking up a mechanical grinder to a Windmill and letting the wind do the grinding for you on windy days?  :icon_sunny:

That's how they did it in the days before electricity of course.

(http://www.ei.lehigh.edu/learners/energy/images/dutchmill.jpg)(http://murciatoday.com/images/articles/11029_windmills-of-torre-pacheco-el-pasico_4_large.jpg)

Smaller version of course for home use.  :icon_sunny:

A belt drive off a car or a chain drive off a bike should work.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 16, 2016, 05:42:06 PM
Not enough wind, but part of the year I could go hydro.

Right now it would be great, but it's been the wettest year in a long time. My creek is called Mill Creek, so somebody, sometime back there probably ground some corn in the neighborhood. I tried to find out the history, but so far no luck.

It's getting dry again as we speak though. Hit or miss on the water, going forward.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on February 16, 2016, 05:51:59 PM
Not enough wind, but part of the year I could go hydro.

Right now it would be great, but it's been the wettest year in a long time. My creek is called Mill Creek, so somebody, sometime back there probably ground some corn in the neighborhood. I tried to find out the history, but so far no luck.

It's getting dry again as we speak though. Hit or miss on the water, going forward.

You have enough Solar PV panels to run an electric grinder anyhow.  You shouldn't have to hand grind for quite some time.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 16, 2016, 06:13:33 PM
I ordered those 48 Volt inverters. I'm very close to having everything I need to build the new array. Just some pipe fence posts and an enclosure for the batteries and components, and I'm there.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on February 16, 2016, 06:23:46 PM
I ordered those 48 Volt inverters. I'm very close to having everything I need to build the new array. Just some pipe fence posts and an enclosure for the batteries and components, and I'm there.

You could use your little portable setup for coffee or grain grinding.  A 300W electric motor would be plenty.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on February 19, 2016, 06:29:22 PM
I got the AIMS 48V 1500W inverters that were on sale so cheap...and in the interest of full disclosure wanted to post a link to a good review of the 12V version of the same brand and power. It didn't get what I'd consider a stellar review. It didn't produce as much level power or surge as it was rated for, and in the test (by a good amateur guy) it acted a bit glitchy with various test loads.

But even if it has a somewhat lower output than it's rated, it comes in as the lowest priced 48V pure sine wave inverter by hundreds of dollars, and is still a buy. I'm looking forward to doing some load testing myself. I just need to hook some batteries together, since I have them all taken apart and on individual trickle chargers at the moment.

Here's a link to the u-toob review. There are four parts.

http://www.youtube.com/v/N_0macTBMEY&fs=1
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on February 19, 2016, 07:10:26 PM
I got the AIMS 48V 1500W inverters that were on sale so cheap...and in the interest of full disclosure wanted to post a link to a good review of the 12V version of the same brand and power. It didn't get what I'd consider a stellar review. It didn't produce as much level power or surge as it was rated for, and in the test (by a good amateur guy) it acted a bit glitchy with various test loads.

But even if it has a somewhat lower output than it's rated, it comes in as the lowest priced 48V pure sine wave inverter by hundreds of dollars, and is still a buy. I'm looking forward to doing some load testing myself. I just need to hook some batteries together, since I have them all taken apart and on individual trickle chargers at the moment.

Try not to bring down the Thunderbolts from Asgaard when you wire up!  :icon_mrgreen:

(http://www.link2universe.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/thor_marvel_comics_lightning_mjolnir_desktop_1440x900_hd-wallpaper-957792.jpg)

Looking forwrd to seeing how it works out.  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 13, 2016, 11:58:17 AM
It's been almost two years since RE, Lucid Dreams, Gypsy Mama, William Hunter Duncan, Harry, and Ralph and myself got together out on my land to cement our online friendship in the real world, and spend a week studying domes here in Texas. Since that time I've been goofing off too much, knowing that my eventual destiny has to be to move to the 'stead to live, if I'm going to complete the long list of prepping and sustainable living projects that I've set for myself.

With the time change here, I will have plenty of time after work now to drive out and get some work done, so I've taken some steps that will force  me to get off my ass and get back to work. I have a new tractor that will run all my PTO driven equipment, dig post holes, mix cement, and mow.

I have made arrangements to buy a breeding pair of Mangalitsa pigs, which will require me to be onsite daily. This next week I will be building a proper pig pen, so I can drive the 3.5 hrs to the farm where my new stock will originate from and bring them home. I plan to run the pigs on pasture, so I'll be forced back to my neglected fence building chores.

My father, may he rest in peace, built many miles of fence, barns, corrals, pens and just about anything a farm needed built, when I was a kid, and I used to work as his helper, some of the best times I had as a teenager. I know I can get it done, and his spirit will be with me while I work, every step of the way.

In short, this is the year I plan to transition to full time rural living, with fewer trips to the city and most nights spent out there. It will be tough on my marriage, I expect, but a man should never let his woman take him away from his true purpose. If he does, he loses his self-respect.

So here I go. I'll probably have a lot  more to write on this thread, very soon.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Petty Tyrant on March 13, 2016, 05:07:57 PM
If it was not for the pigs needing feeding each day and maybe garden needing watering,  though that can be drip sysrem and timer.. i would tell u its too tiring to have a long drive to and from work and still spend time doing things on the property during the week. Better to just go on weekends unless u have some other commitments. 
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 14, 2016, 01:26:02 AM
I have made arrangements to buy a breeding pair of Mangalitsa pigs, which will require me to be onsite daily.

DAILY?  That is a shit load of driving every day!  At least the gas is coming cheap these days, but the TIME is the real killer.  It's like an hour each way as I recall.  Then there are the stops you'll need to make to buy some supply or another you need for the projects.

Then you already had theft issues, what if somebody steals the pigs while you are at work?  What about vacations and your annual education trips for keeping your dental license current?

It certainly will give you plenty to write about, but how will you find the time to write with this schedule?

I'm not even going to start with the marriage problems.

RE
Title: 7 Best Farm Animals to Raise when you're just starting out
Post by: RE on March 14, 2016, 06:24:55 PM
You've got the Pigs & Honeybees, only 5 to go!  :icon_sunny:

RE

http://morningchores.com/best-farm-animals/ (http://morningchores.com/best-farm-animals/)

6 Best Farm Animals to Raise (and 1 Not to) When You’re Just Starting out

7 Best Farm Animals to Raise

If you are new to the idea of homesteading, you might be wondering what you should consider raising on your land.

Some choose the basic farm animals to raise while others take a more exotic approach. Researching the needs of each animal is always the best place to start.

Raising livestock always has a learning curve but the more knowledgeable you are the better that curve will be to you and your animals.

1. Pekin Ducks

Pekin Ducks are the easiest animals to raise. They are a great source for meat and large eggs.

They also require very little space.

They have a bigger appetite than chickens but are great foragers as well. You can get by with building them a small house and giving them a kiddie pool to swim in, and they will be extremely happy.

Pekins are great helpers around the garden. They do not scratch the ground like chickens so they are kind to your plants. They will eat your weak rooted plants and keep the bugs off of your healthy ones.

They are friendly animals and are a great addition to a larger farm or your backyard.

The only caution with ducks is they are larger, slower birds so they are weak to predators. Hawks and dogs are their biggest threat but with proper fencing they should be well protected.

  

Space needed

 

Produce

 

Cost to raise

 

Consideration

Prone to predators

Overall

 

Read this guide if you're interested in raising ducks:

2. Rabbits

Rabbits are great additions to any homestead. They are a great meat source, cost very little to feed, and take up very little space.

Rabbits’ gestation period is about one month. They often have 6+ in a litter, and their babies can be culled at 8 weeks so it is a fast meat supply.

They can be fed store bought feed, fodder, extra veggies from the garden, weeds and grass clippings, and hay. Rabbits are also great for your garden because they produce some of the most amazing fertilizer.

Rabbits do usually require hutches. They can be built for very little cost or purchased. Some choose to let their rabbits free range in a bunny tractor for protection. You may also choose to raise your rabbits in a colony setting. Their housing obviously has many options that can cost as little or as much as you choose.

  

Space needed

 

Produce

 

Cost to raise

 

Consideration

Prone to predators

Too cute​ to eat

Overall

 

3. Chickens

Chickens are a commonly raised farm animal because they are multipurpose animals. They are a great source of eggs, meat, and fertilizer.

Chickens require about 4 square feet of space per hen in the coop. Chickens require a covered area to stay dry, fresh water, and a place to nest and lay their eggs.

Chickens will eat almost anything. You can feed them compost, weeds, leftovers from the garden, or store bought feed.

Breed will depend upon how many eggs you will get a day and will also determine their temperament. They are susceptible to predators such as hawks as well but having good fencing around their coop and a good rooster will help in protecting your hens.

Chickens are also susceptible to illness.

Cleanliness in their coop must be a priority in order to keep healthy chickens. Where chickens roost in such tight quarters and have weak respiratory systems, if one falls ill usually they all will. You must also be aware of using proper bedding in order to deter lice and mites.

  

Space needed

 

Produce

 

Cost to raise

 

Consideration

Illness

Cleanliness

Overall

 

If you want to raise chickens in your backyard, read and bookmark this ultimate guide from the "chicken experts":

 

4. Goats

Goats are a magnificent animal to keep on your homestead.

They are great at clearing brush, a meat source, and also great for dairy. If you are looking for a dairy source but don’t have a lot of acreages a goat is the way to go.

Nigerian Dwarf goats can produce anywhere from a ½-1 gallon of milk per day. Goat milk is actually easier to digest than cow’s milk and a Nigerian Dwarf normally only weighs about 75 pounds so they are much more feasible in a smaller space.

Goats will feed on shrubbery and wood. They love hay, vegetables, and also store bought feed.

Some choose to leave their goats out to pasture. If your goats are in a smaller space it is good to give them a covered place to stay dry when it rains. They will appreciate it.

Goats are very susceptible to illness. When a goat has a stomach issue it can be a matter of life or death in only a few hours.

It is important to worm them a few times a year. You can choose to use store-bought medication or feed them pumpkin or pine trees. If you notice they have a stomach problem start treating them immediately.

Goats are also escape artists. The only true way to keep them fenced in is to keep them happy.

They are social animals so it is important to have more than one. If you keep them well fed and give them a buddy, they should stay happy and want to stay right where they are.

  

Space needed

 

Produce

 

Cost to raise

 

Consideration

Unpredictable

Overall

 

5. Pigs

Pigs have a bad reputation for smell and messiness. In reality, pigs are clean animals. If you have the land available to allow them to free range then your feeding expense will be a lot lower.

The smell factor will also not be an issue because the more you move them the less they smell.

When pigs have babies their litters can often consist of as many as 11 piglets. They are obviously a great meat source, but you must raise the babies for a year to get an adequate amount of meat from them.

They eat compost, corn, other grains, milk, bread, fodder, and practically anything else you feed them. However, being such large animals they do require a lot of food which can get expensive if they are not free ranged.

They require a pin with strong fencing. They are very strong animals and can escape if they put their mind to it.

  

Space needed

 

Produce

 

Cost to raise

 

Cell content

They eat a lot

Overall

 

6. Cows

The reason cow is included in this list is actually to explain why it might not be a good choice for you. Read on...

Cows are a large animal and, therefore, require a large amount of space. One cow needs around an acre to graze. You must technically have at least 2 acres for it so you can rotate pastures.

They are a great source for milk and meat. However, because of the amount of space they take up, it is fair to say that a cow is not right for everyone.

There is also a lot of danger to owning a cow.

They are a large animal and can seriously injure you if you are not accustomed to handling them.

They need a large water source, a barn for winter with a large supply of hay to keep them fed, and shade for hot summer days while they are out in the pasture.

  

Space needed

 

Produce

 

Cost to raise

 

Consideration

Not for beginners

Overall

 

7. Honeybees

While most people somehow do not consider raising honeybees on their homestead. They're actually magnificent creatures and require very little maintenance.

You need hive boxes to get started and a small water source where they can rest and drink. Their water source can be a bird bath with little rocks in it to keep them from drowning or something as large as a pond.

The best thing about bees is you can get them for free!

They swarm a lot in the spring and are very gentle when they do. You will need a bee suit, gloves, and some sugar water to catch them but once you do, you have a free hive.

Hive boxes do have feeders on top that you fill with a mixture of 5 pounds of sugar watered down. However, bees travel up to a 5-10 mile radius to collect food so they usually do not depend on the feeder.

Bees are not vicious animals to keep.

If you place their hives off of the beaten path you won’t even realize you are keeping them.

The obvious perk of keeping bees is the honey. You always have to leave them a little in the event that they need it as a food source, but the majority of it is all yours and it is delicious!

Bees do have upfront costs like hive boxes, bee suits, etc. but the initial investment is worth the experience of raising bees and having honey on tap in your backyard.

  

Space needed

 

Produce

 

Cost to raise

 

Consideration

Some people allergic to bee stings

Overall

 

Raising animals on a homestead is always exciting. It is an opportunity to learn and to harvest your own food right in your backyard.

Now it is your turn…what is your favorite animal to raise on your homestead?

Comments:

  1. Karen

    February 25, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Wonderful article !!!

  2. Karen

    February 25, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Tried to join,but keep getting a 404 error message,love your site hope I can find a way to keep you in my loop. Great info.

  3. Jasmine

    March 1, 2016 at 12:49 am

    What about having donkeys? Where do they rate on the scale of difficulty?

    • Jennifer Poindexter

      March 11, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      Hi Jasmine,

      I personally have yet to raise donkeys but after viewing your question I’ve asked some friends of mine that do. It all depends on your experience with raising and training animals. You can purchase donkeys that have already been trained.

      The most important thing to know about them is that they are very social animals. They’ll need a companion that will not be separated from them for the duration of their life. A lot of people keep them with their goats (as they are great protectors.) I’ve heard that combination works well because goats are very social animals as well.

      It is also my understanding that Jenny’s are the best options because of their temperament.

      I hope that helps you. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. just jake

    March 14, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Dexter cows only need a half acre to an acre per animal, provide milk and meat in quantities easier to use by a family. maybe cows can be included after all! and pigs are a pain…..eat as much as a cow, don’t provide milk, are harder to manage. Ducks tear up your garden and yard just as quick as chicken will, and poop a-lot more. goats…just don’t like goats, so I never had those. Bees are great use the K-bar hive so much easier and cost effective, have a friend who has rabbits….the kids wont eat them however unless I am sneaky with the meat. all in all animals are animals you have to find the ones that work for you, your land and your lifestyle….they are all ALOT of work though even the easy maintainers require some work. but hey I know where my food comes from, not off a Kelloggs Conveyor!

  5. Linda

    March 14, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Regarding cows and their size. A miniature heritage breed such as Dexter might be the answer if one really wants a cow. Their smaller size, less than a 1000 lbs and 36-42 inches at the shoulder, means less space and food requirements. They handle heat and cold and pasture well outside year round needing only a windbreak, shelter and water. Milk production is from 1-3 gallons a day. The milk generally has a 4-5% butterfat contents making it an excellent source for butter and cheese. Average dress out rate is 50-60% with the meat being lean and of high quality. Then there is the cuteness factor. They are just plain adorable bovine. There are other miniature breeds also. Something to think about.

  6. just jake

    March 14, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Technically the Dexter is not a miniature. It is the smallest of the full sized breeds. They have a gene that some breed for and some breed out that causes the short stature. If you breed that gene out they end up being more like the Kerry which are another great small sized breed….but Dexters are great…we love ours….

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 14, 2016, 08:30:43 PM
Goats are a pain, but it would be nice to have a couple of dairy goats or maybe one milk cow. Chickens and ducks are great, but I have lots of predators where I'm at...it would require guard dogs, maybe a couple of Great Pyrenees. There would no doubt still be some attrition.

Rabbits are supposed to be a good food source, grow fast, reproduce a lot.

We looked at a tiny house on wheels today.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on March 14, 2016, 08:33:29 PM

We looked at a tiny house on wheels today.

Something wrong with the hunting cabin all of a sudden?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 14, 2016, 08:44:47 PM
Not acceptable as a place for her to even spend the night.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 14, 2016, 08:46:21 PM
Not acceptable as a place for her to even spend the night.

What about the Dome?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 14, 2016, 08:53:37 PM
I'm trying to come up with some kind of interim plan. Maybe an Airstream. I want to build a house, maybe a dome. But I need to come up with a short term solution, because it'll be a year or two or three before I'm ready to build.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 14, 2016, 09:17:12 PM
I'm trying to come up with some kind of interim plan. Maybe an Airstream. I want to build a house, maybe a dome. But I need to come up with a short term solution, because it'll be a year or two or three before I'm ready to build.

How about a Solar Electric powered trailerable Houseboat?  You could take it to lakes for mini-vacations.

(http://www.twinanchorsmfg.com/images/houseboat-gallery/trailcruiser/trailcruiser-1.jpg)

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 15, 2016, 03:45:40 PM
Chickens and ducks are great, but I have lots of predators where I'm at...it would require guard dogs, maybe a couple of Great Pyrenees.

Issue with the Dogs is that even if they successfully keep away the predators, then you have to feed the dogs.  So are you necessarily going to be net positive in animal protein raised in total?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 15, 2016, 03:47:49 PM
All the small farmers around here keep dogs to protect the food animals. We have lots of hawks and coyotes. It's a necessity. Great Pyrenees seem to be preferred.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on March 15, 2016, 04:32:24 PM
Not acceptable as a place for her to even spend the night.

SHIT!!! Really? What the hell is she going to do when collapse happens (market to 11K, unemployment to 8%, oil back to $100/bbl, Austin real estate drops 5%) and she MUST!!

I mean really, I've got a Marriot only wife, but in a collapse (defined as above to keep locals from confusing it with what is happening now in the real world that they think is collapse  :icon_sunny:) but shit even she would head out to the hunting cabin for a quiet weekend on occasion.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on March 15, 2016, 04:36:03 PM
I'm trying to come up with some kind of interim plan. Maybe an Airstream. I want to build a house, maybe a dome. But I need to come up with a short term solution, because it'll be a year or two or three before I'm ready to build.

I mean really, why not just build the standard McMansion on the property? Install the normal off grid stuff like Bush, and call it a day? Why screw around with something tiny? It isn't like you can't afford it, nice garage, cover everything with solar panels, make it an expression of largess in off grid living!

Why you feel the need to scrimp when it won't get the wife out there with you, hell, she likes comfort, cool, throw it at her by the bucket and enjoy. You aren't a spring chicken any more, faux doom makes interesting conversation by day but it isn't here and won't be here in your lifetime, so don't let playing in the fantasy doom league get in the way of living the rest of your life.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 15, 2016, 05:05:17 PM
All the small farmers around here keep dogs to protect the food animals. We have lots of hawks and coyotes. It's a necessity. Great Pyrenees seem to be preferred.

I suppose if you feed the dogs the parts of the animals you aren't too fond of that it works out that way.

What about covering a pond with a frame metal frame geodesic dome with chicken wire fencing to keep hawks and coyotes away from the ducks?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 16, 2016, 09:02:51 AM
I'm trying to come up with some kind of interim plan. Maybe an Airstream. I want to build a house, maybe a dome. But I need to come up with a short term solution, because it'll be a year or two or three before I'm ready to build.

I mean really, why not just build the standard McMansion on the property? Install the normal off grid stuff like Bush, and call it a day? Why screw around with something tiny? It isn't like you can't afford it, nice garage, cover everything with solar panels, make it an expression of largess in off grid living!

Why you feel the need to scrimp when it won't get the wife out there with you, hell, she likes comfort, cool, throw it at her by the bucket and enjoy. You aren't a spring chicken any more, faux doom makes interesting conversation by day but it isn't here and won't be here in your lifetime, so don't let playing in the fantasy doom league get in the way of living the rest of your life.

I will not take on any more mortgage liabilities unless they're  part of a financial equation that involves serious cash flow. There is such a thing as "virtuous debt" in my book, but debt to pay for a third personal house seems foolish.

I will build a house there when my farming can pay for it, or when I have the others paid off.

SHIT!!! Really? What the hell is she going to do when collapse happens (market to 11K, unemployment to 8%, oil back to $100/bbl, Austin real estate drops 5%) and she MUST!!

She is afraid I'll force her to live in the hunting cabin. It's an emotional issue, and completely unfounded...but there you are. Women can be emotional at times. She also worries about the bees that live under the roof.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 16, 2016, 09:11:42 AM
We looked at the most gorgeous vintage Airstream you'd ever want to see yesterday. Somebody spent years and a small fortune rebuilding it from the frame up. Amazing little trailer. The inside looked like a vintage airplane. Gypsy Mama would like this one.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on March 16, 2016, 10:09:16 AM
Why you feel the need to scrimp when it won't get the wife out there with you, hell, she likes comfort, cool, throw it at her by the bucket and enjoy. You aren't a spring chicken any more, faux doom makes interesting conversation by day but it isn't here and won't be here in your lifetime, so don't let playing in the fantasy doom league get in the way of living the rest of your life.

I will not take on any more mortgage liabilities unless they're  part of a financial equation that involves serious cash flow. There is such a thing as "virtuous debt" in my book, but debt to pay for a third personal house seems foolish.

So sell personal house #2 and live the dream with #3! Let me guess, wife really likes second house? Hunting cabin and fantasy doom league housing not of interest? Does this woman have any experience in growing up poor or rural, or did you really get a city girl, in every sense of the word? In which case, counting on her to help slaughter the hogs, fend off zombies with a semi-auto AR15 and dig the next water irrigation ditch by hand for the tomatoes in the garden are all out of the question, when we all tally our scores in the fantasy doom league?

Quote from: Eddie
I will build a house there when my farming can pay for it, or when I have the others paid off.

Ah, life will have passed you by, by then.

Quote from: Eddie
SHIT!!! Really? What the hell is she going to do when collapse happens (market to 11K, unemployment to 8%, oil back to $100/bbl, Austin real estate drops 5%) and she MUST!!

She is afraid I'll force her to live in the hunting cabin. It's an emotional issue, and completely unfounded...but there you are. Women can be emotional at times. She also worries about the bees that live under the roof.

In the face of the horrifying faux collapse we discuss every day she is afraid of...BEES!!!! Have you told her about the ZOMBIES and SUBURBAN HORDES, or at LEAST made her watch the update to Mad Max!?!?!?!

Out of curiosity, just among us doomers, have far along is she on the doomer scale? After XX years of living with you, watching your preparations for the end, the idea that she hasn't progressed past fear of bees would seem to indicate that you haven't sold her very far down the doom path yet. Have you managed to at least get her into some hobbies that might be conducive to the other side, horse back riding...using bow and arrows to shoot at targets, or competitive firearm competitions, or maybe primitive construction techniques, anything like that? Or do you have a serious problem...like she calls for an exterminator the instant bees do a flyby on suburban luxury location #1 or #2?

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 16, 2016, 10:38:54 AM
So sell personal house #2 and live the dream with #3! Let me guess, wife really likes second house?

Bingo, but I like  house #2 a lot too. It's also a good investment, even though it doesn't flow cash. The neighbors just sold their lake cottage for $850K.

Out of curiosity, just among us doomers, have far along is she on the doomer scale? After XX years of living with you, watching your preparations for the end, the idea that she hasn't progressed past fear of bees would seem to indicate that you haven't sold her very far down the doom path yet. Have you managed to at least get her into some hobbies that might be conducive to the other side, horse back riding...using bow and arrows to shoot at targets, or competitive firearm competitions, or maybe primitive construction techniques, anything like that? Or do you have a serious problem...like she calls for an exterminator the instant bees do a flyby on suburban luxury location #1 or #2?

She's a Hillary supporter who doesn't believe in doom. She (like a lot of people who should know better)believes that it's wrong to dwell on bad future outcomes because The Secret says whatever you truly believe in will be manifested in your life.

On the other hand, she's an extremely capable individual, who is probably fit enough to place in a triathlon, and she's a good enough sailor to cross an ocean solo, if she made her mind up. As a very experienced lab tech, she knows as much about medicine as most doctors.If  the shit ever does hit the fan, she'll be fine, and do what needs to be done.

























Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on March 16, 2016, 11:13:58 AM
Out of curiosity, just among us doomers, have far along is she on the doomer scale? After XX years of living with you, watching your preparations for the end, the idea that she hasn't progressed past fear of bees would seem to indicate that you haven't sold her very far down the doom path yet. Have you managed to at least get her into some hobbies that might be conducive to the other side, horse back riding...using bow and arrows to shoot at targets, or competitive firearm competitions, or maybe primitive construction techniques, anything like that? Or do you have a serious problem...like she calls for an exterminator the instant bees do a flyby on suburban luxury location #1 or #2?

She's a Hillary supporter who doesn't believe in doom.

So besides being politically whacked we are talking about an extremely intelligent woman obviously, with far more critical thinking skills than...unmentioned relations.... :icon_sunny:

Quote from: Eddie
She (like a lot of people who should know better)believes that it's wrong to dwell on bad future outcomes because The Secret says whatever you truly believe in will be manifested in your life.

What is the Secret? And does it involve WORKING towards what we want in live, believing in it not being near as effective as creating it with our own blood, sweat and tears?

Quote from: Eddie
On the other hand, she's an extremely capable individual, who is probably fit enough to place in a trialthlon, and she's a good enough sailor to cross an ocean solo, if she made her mind up. As a very experienced lab tech, she knows as much about medicine as most doctors.If  the shit ever does hit the fan, she'll be fine, and do what needs to be done.

Helping butcher the hogs, fight off zombies with Annie Oakley like skills, digging irrigation ditches, spinning cotton into clothing, stuff like that? Well...as long as no bees come along anyway. :icon_mrgreen:

The good news in this for you both of you is that regardless of what she believes, doom isn't on any schedule to change your lifestyle, or hers, in your lifetime.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 16, 2016, 11:21:46 AM
So besides being politically whacked we are talking about an extremely intelligent woman obviously, with far more critical thinking skills than...unmentioned relations.... :icon_sunny:

Some would say so, yes.

What is the Secret?

You must live a cloistered life, far from popular culture.

http://www.thesecret.tv/ (http://www.thesecret.tv/)

No work required. It's absolutely proven to be effective, too...at least for people who make a living doing motivational speaking, and shit like that. They ALL say it works.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 16, 2016, 11:52:52 AM
just among us doomers

Since when are you a doomer?  You came to Jesus yesterday?  What?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on March 16, 2016, 11:57:02 AM

What is the Secret?

You must live a cloistered life, far from popular culture.

http://www.thesecret.tv/ (http://www.thesecret.tv/)

Sounds like this is as much value as popular culture like RuPaul's Drag Race, and debating on whether or not Kim Kardashian can break the internet. My disgust with what the world, and the people in it, are becoming, is my corner of the doomer world. So sure, call me cloistered, my interests are my own, and endless, but well prioritized. Popular culture on that list sits somewhere between participating in colonoscopies as a helper and measuring the size, shape and consistency of bison patties...things that can wait until I get unified field theory down pat, or become whatever sits beyond world class, whichever comes first.

The very idea that people have figured out how to be happy is contradicted by everything they do, as far as I'm concerned. As with most things, it appears to be driven by fear of mortality, just the inability of thinking beings to come to grips with that single, basic idea. It haunts people since they were intelligent enough to draw animals on cave walls with charcoal, and has contributed to the creation of injustice through religion, and religious zeal indirectly, and more recently the new age sometimes California based nonsense as pedophiles in the church chased off thinking parents for fear their children would be buggered by the priests.

Quote from: Eddie
No work required. It's absolutely proven to be effective, too...at least for people who make a living doing motivational speaking, and shit like that. They ALL say it works.

But they didn't keep it a secret obviously.  :icon_sunny:

People say all sorts of things, like the world is collapsing, even if everyone in it can't see it. The issue has never been what people say, unless the audience are just gullible folks. The key is watching what they do.

And the people who get paid to say so, will certainly continue saying so, until they are no longer paid. The very idea that people require help, honest to god instruction help on how to be MOTIVATED, from motivational "speakers" is as foreign to me as RuPaul's Dragrace. But hey, if P.T. Barnum wasn't right, how would these fine folks make a living?

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 16, 2016, 12:05:24 PM
So sell personal house #2 and live the dream with #3! Let me guess, wife really likes second house?

Bingo, but I like  house #2 a lot too. It's also a good investment, even though it doesn't flow cash. The neighbors just sold their lake cottage for $850K.


Just make sure you sell before the bottom drops out of the Austin property market.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 16, 2016, 12:06:44 PM
Sounds like this is as much value as popular culture like RuPaul's Drag Race

Sadly, I seem to have missed that bit of popular culture myself. But I know lots about New Age claptrap.

I'm in fair agreement with most of your rant.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 16, 2016, 12:12:50 PM
Just make sure you sell before the bottom drops out of the Austin property market.

I'd like to sell house #1 (my price is one meeellion dollars) , build house (dome)#3, and keep #2 for fishing and retirement living. Don't forget I have a business in that neighborhood already that should net about 30K a year in retirement after THAT mortgage is paid off in six years.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 16, 2016, 12:18:31 PM
Just make sure you sell before the bottom drops out of the Austin property market.

I'd like to sell house #1 (my price is one meeellion dollars)

Considering the shacks in Vancouver selling for $1M, I think if you advertise it with a Chinese broker you can get $5M and retire tomorrow.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 16, 2016, 12:21:55 PM
All the small farmers around here keep dogs to protect the food animals. We have lots of hawks and coyotes. It's a necessity. Great Pyrenees seem to be preferred.

I suppose if you feed the dogs the parts of the animals you aren't too fond of that it works out that way.

What about covering a pond with a frame metal frame geodesic dome with chicken wire fencing to keep hawks and coyotes away from the ducks?

RE

Ponds are a pain in the ass. I know somebody with ducks. They have a pond (smelly in the summer, too, with all the duck feces), and they use that new electric fence that looks like plastic lattice construction barricade stuff. They have dogs, though. Overall, I like ducks. they are tougher than chickens, for sure, and the eggs are excellent. I don't care for the meat, myself.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 16, 2016, 12:32:32 PM
All the small farmers around here keep dogs to protect the food animals. We have lots of hawks and coyotes. It's a necessity. Great Pyrenees seem to be preferred.

I suppose if you feed the dogs the parts of the animals you aren't too fond of that it works out that way.

What about covering a pond with a frame metal frame geodesic dome with chicken wire fencing to keep hawks and coyotes away from the ducks?

RE

Ponds are a pain in the ass. I know somebody with ducks. They have a pond (smelly in the summer, too, with all the duck feces), and they use that new electric fence that looks like plastic lattice construction barricade stuff. They have dogs, though. Overall, I like ducks. they are tougher than chickens, for sure, and the eggs are excellent. I don't care for the meat, myself.

So what if it's smelly?  Pig shit isn't smelly?  Humanure composting toilets aren't smelly? What?  Just don't put it near the planned site for the new McDoomPalace.  You have 40 acres!  You could also raise Bullfrogs!

Secret to duck is to pound the shit out of it before you cook it.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 16, 2016, 12:37:57 PM
Considering the shacks in Vancouver selling for $1M, I think if you advertise it with a Chinese broker you can get $5M and retire tomorrow.

RE


The chinks have just discovered Austin. As stupid as it sounds, you just might be right. Wouldn't that be just fuckin' awesome? I could die happy, knowing the missus would be safe from bees and poverty.

Funny story...the missus likes to think she's some kind of bee whisperer. She hangs out in the bee yard with no suit, thinks they won't sting her...until a couple of days ago (on a a nice sunny day), when she got a good one on her arm. She had a little swelling, too. She might be starting to show an allergy. Her father was allergic to bee venom, for real. She is in denial, but the itching has her using Caladryl like crazy.

I always wear a suit when i fool with the bees, and they do sometimes get pretty stirred up and aggressive. They are a lot like reptiles. When it's hot they are higher energy.

MK, she isn't afraid of bees, she just thinks they pose a problem in the cabin. We had to have bees removed from house #1, which was a tough job that required two professionals, scaffolding, and a month to get done. (No they weren't my bees.)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 16, 2016, 12:45:01 PM
So what if it's smelly?  Pig shit isn't smelly?  Humanure composting toilets aren't smelly? What?  Just don't put it near the planned site for the new McDoomPalace.  You have 40 acres!  You could also raise Bullfrogs!

Secret to duck is to pound the shit out of it before you cook it.

RE


The best place would be to dam up those gullies up on top. I have thought about doing that anyway, just to catch the run-off when it rains. There are three potential small pond sites. I've been filling one of them with brush, but I should make that into biochar instead.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 16, 2016, 01:02:27 PM
So what if it's smelly?  Pig shit isn't smelly?  Humanure composting toilets aren't smelly? What?  Just don't put it near the planned site for the new McDoomPalace.  You have 40 acres!  You could also raise Bullfrogs!

Secret to duck is to pound the shit out of it before you cook it.

RE


The best place would be to dam up those gullies up on top. I have thought about doing that anyway, just to catch the run-off when it rains. There are three potential small pond sites. I've been filling one of them with brush, but I should make that into biochar instead.

Those sites should be pretty defensible from the predators too.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 16, 2016, 01:15:34 PM
Ah, life will have passed you by, by then.

The good news in this for you both of you is that regardless of what she believes, doom isn't on any schedule to change your lifestyle, or hers, in your lifetime.


When I bought the country place, the one thing I decided right away was that whatever I did or didn't get accomplished out there didn't matter all that much. I decided to make it about the process rather than the destination. My hope is that I can turn it into a real comfortable retreat...and a refuge, in case of need. Now, or in the future, if my kids need it. When i'm gone, they'll have to decide what's important.

You might be surprised at how much a guy like me can get accomplished in a decade or so, if he just keeps on task, though.

I am excited about the pigs. The cheapest piglets you can buy for this Mangalitsa breed are currently selling for $700 apiece, and breeding stock can go for up to  $1500. There are fewer than 10 breeders here in Texas at the moment. I think the market will be pretty good, at least until there are a lot more people raising them.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 16, 2016, 01:35:19 PM
I am excited about the pigs. The cheapest piglets you can buy for this Mangalitsa breed are currently selling for $700 apiece, and breeding stock can go for up to  $1500. There are fewer than 10 breeders here in Texas at the moment. I think the market will be pretty good, at least until there are a lot more people raising them.

What's so special about Mangalitsa pigs?

Also, do you eat much pork?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on March 16, 2016, 01:51:29 PM
You might be surprised at how much a guy like me can get accomplished in a decade or so, if he just keeps on task, though.

I would not be surprised Eddie, not in the LEAST.

But...not everyone can be Eddie, which is why you are sitting in the position you are in, and others can only offer you advice from a position that demonstrates that you aren't just "a guy" when it comes to "gettin'er done".


Quote from: Eddie

I am excited about the pigs. The cheapest piglets you can buy for this Mangalitsa breed are currently selling for $700 apiece, and breeding stock can go for up to  $1500. There are fewer than 10 breeders here in Texas at the moment. I think the market will be pretty good, at least until there are a lot more people raising them.

As my sister has amply demonstrated to me, keeping animals around tends to squash the ability to travel on a moments notice. So...valuing travel and life and seeing and experiencing wildly random stuff (like blizzards in Washington or the condition of the Texas/Mexican border, or the crane count in Houston), over having pigs and ducks and whatnot, I would resist the temptation for animals.

My sister can't even bring herself to eat her chickens anymore, once she started naming them. But they are WONDERFUL at keeping her from having to travel and experience or DO much of anything. Which, knowing my sister, might have been the point in the first place. Travel has this ability to...expand...ones perspective and she wants nothing to do with that.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 16, 2016, 02:17:45 PM
The Mangalica (sometimes spelled Mangalitsa in the UK or Mangalitza in the USA) is a Hungarian breed of domestic pig. It was developed in the mid-19th century by crossbreeding Romanian breeds from Szalonta and Bakony with the Serbian Šumadija breed.[2] The Mangalica pig grows a thick, wooly coat similar to that of a sheep. The only other pig breed noted for having a long coat is the extinct Lincolnshire Curly-coated pig of England.

The pigs were originally bred for their lard in the 1830s by Austrian Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary. After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the breed slowly disappeared, reaching a low point under Hungarian communism, where government policy combined with changing dietary habits brought it to near-extinction. The breed was revived in the early 1990s by a series of breeders, including the Hungarian Peter Toth.[3]

In 2010, Wilhelm W. Kohl and his partner Marc Santucci were the first to import the blonde variety from Kohl's native Austria. They have since distributed breeding stock throughout the United States through their company Pure Mangalitsa.[3] Shortly thereafter, Auburn University in cooperation with Mosefund Farm also imported the same blonde variety to the United States.


Almost all the meat from these pigs (in Europe) goes to Spain, where it is turned into high end Spanish hams and sausages. Supposedly the best ham in the world. The most fat of any pig meat in the world.

Yes, I eat pork quite a bit. I hope no Muslims are offended by that.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 16, 2016, 02:28:23 PM
The most fat of any pig meat in the world.

That sounds GREAT!  I can't wait for the first slab of Manglitsa bacon! I like really fatty bacon.  :icon_sunny:

My main pork cuts are Bacon, Ham, Back Ribs and Sausage, Hot Italian, Batwurst and Breakfast Sausages.  I'm not a big fan of pork chops, steaks or loin though.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 16, 2016, 02:29:34 PM
As my sister has amply demonstrated to me, keeping animals around tends to squash the ability to travel on a moments notice. So...valuing travel and life and seeing and experiencing wildly random stuff (like blizzards in Washington or the condition of the Texas/Mexican border, or the crane count in Houston), over having pigs and ducks and whatnot, I would resist the temptation for animals.

My sister can't even bring herself to eat her chickens anymore, once she started naming them. But they are WONDERFUL at keeping her from having to travel and experience or DO much of anything. Which, knowing my sister, might have been the point in the first place. Travel has this ability to...expand...ones perspective and she wants nothing to do with that.


The animals do tie you down. No doubt about that. But I have a day job that ties me down anyway. It's a huge deal for me to shut my practice down for a week, even. The longest vacation I've ever taken was about two weeks,and that resulted from a stalled sailboat engine in the middle of the ocean and there wasn't much i could do about it.

I hope i can get a hand to help me on the farm stuff at some point, so i could maybe take a week here and there. Currently we are about to start a new rotating schedule at work that will give me four days off every other weekend. I'l have to work ten hour days. We'll see if it works out.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 16, 2016, 02:32:20 PM
The Mangalica pig grows a thick, wooly coat similar to that of a sheep.

Can you shear them like a sheep and spin thread out of it?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on March 16, 2016, 03:17:20 PM
I hope i can get a hand to help me on the farm stuff at some point, so i could maybe take a week here and there. Currently we are about to start a new rotating schedule at work that will give me four days off every other weekend. I'l have to work ten hour days. We'll see if it works out.

Ah yes!! Sort of like a pool boy for the wife's entertainment, except this can be a farm boy for the wife's entertainment! And maybe feed the pigs and stuff on the side. Maybe she has been working on you towards her OWN ends, ever think of that? She was smart enough to know you should have gone into the market after the last faux collapse, maybe you are being PLAYED!

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/75/81/74/758174a97556bda7c04d7fc022c0f404.jpg)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 16, 2016, 03:55:03 PM
That guy looks as gay as a goose. LOL.

I was hoping for some old retired doomer to show up and help out. Somebody who would get off on growing so much food in our aquaponic greenhouse that we could support a food bank in town somewhere.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 16, 2016, 03:56:19 PM
The Mangalica pig grows a thick, wooly coat similar to that of a sheep.

Can you shear them like a sheep and spin thread out of it?

RE

Not sure. I wondered about that myself.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 16, 2016, 04:30:16 PM
That guy looks as gay as a goose. LOL.

Looks like he just came down from Brokeback Mountain to take care of Eddie's Mangalista Pigs!  :icon_mrgreen:


RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on March 18, 2016, 09:55:15 AM
The Mangalica pig grows a thick, wooly coat similar to that of a sheep.
Can you shear them like a sheep and spin thread out of it?
Not sure. I wondered about that myself.
I'm pretty sure the answer is yes, the process is pretty good at using any kind of fiber and making some kind of usable thread/twine/yarn out of it; the real question is, would you want to?  My guess would be from how bristly a normal pig's coat is, that anything derived from mangalitza wool would be completely unwearable -- unless maybe torture was the point.  Perhaps it would have non-clothing uses, like it might make a good doormat.

Oh yeah, or toothbrushes: http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/store/jump/productDetail/Catalog/Health_&_Beauty/Facial_Care/Natural_Bristle_Toothbrush_Set_of_3/H1975 (http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/store/jump/productDetail/Catalog/Health_&_Beauty/Facial_Care/Natural_Bristle_Toothbrush_Set_of_3/H1975)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 22, 2016, 08:37:58 AM
I finally got started on the new pig pen on Sunday, after choosing a compromise location further from the creek than my initial choice. I got off to a good start, getting it dummied up using T-posts and welded wire panels. I went back out to set some wooden posts in concrete yesterday (I was off work, a holiday I gave myself for working through spring break).

I decided that since I needed to dig a dozen post holes, I'd put the posthole digger on the tractor. I have two, one lighter weight one, and a big mama that has a frame and hydraulic down-pressure. I hadn't used the little one and figured it'd be easier.

It took me maybe an hour to get it hooked up (I could have dug most of the holes by hand) but I wanted to try it out. First rattle out of the box, I let the auger dig too deep, too fast, resulting in a sheered pin and a stuck auger that wouldn't budge. I had to take the machine apart just to be able to move the tractor.

After four hours of physically exhausting work, I am where I was when I started, with the exception of having a three foot long  screw still stuck in the ground. One I'll have to dig out by hand. Back to primitive tools for me, for now. My assessment is that using that digger will be difficult without two people working in tandem...one to guide the auger while a second person carefully works the hydraulics. Even with two, some skill would need to be developed to avoid the kind of problem I encountered yesterday.

The pig pen is not a big job, so no big deal. But the pasture fence I need to build is a much bigger job. I'm going back to the big machine again for that. Maybe I'll have better luck.

I am so sore today.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 22, 2016, 12:30:50 PM
I finally got started on the new pig pen on Sunday, after choosing a compromise location further from the creek than my initial choice. I got off to a good start, getting it dummied up using T-posts and welded wire panels. I went back out to set some wooden posts in concrete yesterday (I was off work, a holiday I gave myself for working through spring break).

I decided that since I needed to dig a dozen post holes, I'd put the posthole digger on the tractor. I have two, one lighter weight one, and a big mama that has a frame and hydraulic down-pressure. I hadn't used the little one and figured it'd be easier.

It took me maybe an hour to get it hooked up (I could have dug most of the holes by hand) but I wanted to try it out. First rattle out of the box, I let the auger dig too deep, too fast, resulting in a sheered pin and a stuck auger that wouldn't budge. I had to take the machine apart just to be able to move the tractor.

After four hours of physically exhausting work, I am where I was when I started, with the exception of having a three foot long  screw still stuck in the ground. One I'll have to dig out by hand. Back to primitive tools for me, for now. My assessment is that using that digger will be difficult without two people working in tandem...one to guide the auger while a second person carefully works the hydraulics. Even with two, some skill would need to be developed to avoid the kind of problem I encountered yesterday.

The pig pen is not a big job, so no big deal. But the pasture fence I need to build is a much bigger job. I'm going back to the big machine again for that. Maybe I'll have better luck.

I am so sore today.

You would think after all these years drilling teeth you would be a little more careful drilling holes in Mother Earth! lol.  I guess being an expert with those tiny drills doesn't translate that well to the big ones.  ;D

You really gotta take a camera out there with you and drop it on a tripod to video your exploits.  This could have made a fabulous Tutorial,
"How NOT to use a Post Hole Digger".   :icon_mrgreen:

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 22, 2016, 01:20:25 PM
I'm glad there was no photographic record of my shame. I'm usually pretty good with farm equipment.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 22, 2016, 01:50:25 PM
I'm glad there was no photographic record of my shame. I'm usually pretty good with farm equipment.
Quote from: RE

"One needs to be as comfortable with failure as with success"

You learn a lot from your mistakes and failures.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on March 22, 2016, 03:17:50 PM

I am so sore today.

But after a day's work to accomplish not much but learning how not to do things, don't you feel good!! Accomplished in the use of power machinery in the face of collapse! And tomorrow? Physical labor to rescue expensive power tools in the face of collapse!

Next time just hire the work out, you can afford it, and there are people out there already apparently collapsed who could use some under the table $$!

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on March 22, 2016, 05:04:49 PM

I am so sore today.

But after a day's work to accomplish not much but learning how not to do things, don't you feel good!! Accomplished in the use of power machinery in the face of collapse! And tomorrow? Physical labor to rescue expensive power tools in the face of collapse!

Next time just hire the work out, you can afford it, and there are people out there already apparently collapsed who could use some under the table $$!
Silly old coot!!  You assume that he is trying to get results.  That would make it like another job.  This is a hobby for Eddie.  It's supposed to be fun.  That's why you don't just stick with what you know will work but will be long and tedious.  Trying out new stuff is exciting.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn better.  Either way you share it with your buddies afterwards, it makes a good story.  "I hired someone to build a fence" does not.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on March 22, 2016, 05:15:09 PM

I am so sore today.

But after a day's work to accomplish not much but learning how not to do things, don't you feel good!! Accomplished in the use of power machinery in the face of collapse! And tomorrow? Physical labor to rescue expensive power tools in the face of collapse!

Next time just hire the work out, you can afford it, and there are people out there already apparently collapsed who could use some under the table $$!
Silly old coot!!  You assume that he is trying to get results.  That would make it like another job.  This is a hobby for Eddie.  It's supposed to be fun.  That's why you don't just stick with what you know will work but will be long and tedious.  Trying out new stuff is exciting.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn better.  Either way you share it with your buddies afterwards, it makes a good story.  "I hired someone to build a fence" does not.

True, but isn't there some LEARNING supposed to take place along the way? And it sounds like the learning for this weekend was..hire it out!

But the weather down here is beautiful this past weekend for getting outside. Can't blame anyone for doing that, regardless of what was, or wasn't accomplished. I wouldn't mind being out on any day this weekend digging this or nailing together that, just to be doing something other than the normal office stuff.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: roamer on March 28, 2016, 04:35:35 PM
Well good to hear your making progress at the stead Eddie even if it comes with some hard lessons. 
Think I'm in the middle of a hard lesson myself.  Finally got my wish to do the whole grass fed dairy farm I was dreaming of it's just I've been doing it with my girlfriend in Wisconsin.  It's been a hard spring with 20 cows freshning over the last month more than a few nights sleep lost.  Mostly I like the lifestyle, my girlfriend is a great herdswomen, I do the tractor work, heavy lifting and feeding. 
The problem though is the farm is owned by her parents and profits her parents. I'm working more less 50 hrs a week for room board food and to keep her folks quite.  It's complicated but more less i gotta get hitched with the gf and come up with a good chunk of coin to buy in the operation before I'd be able to even make a go of it.
Despite having thought this to be my dream opportunity I'm losing much interest.  I don't think I can navigate the maize of buying in a tight knit family operation.  I also get a good hard look at dairy economics and think  it be damn near impossible to start out on my own now.
Feel like just checking out and living the life of a vagabond road nomad.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 28, 2016, 05:11:37 PM
Don't be quick to rush to judgment. Family is worth a lot. There aren't many families left like your girl's....and there aren't many hard-working good guys left to take over when the old folks have to hang it up.

Sounds like a win/win situation to me. Nothing worth having comes easy.

My girls have brought home a number of really good young men, some of whom we took into our family. It's very hard on the old folks when break-ups happen in that situation. Me and the missus miss the ones who didn't quite work out for one reason or another, and we'll always wish them well, regardless. It's more than a little sad when somebody you took under your roof and into your heart decides they need to pursue some other dream.

I wish you well, too, no matter what you do. Good luck and good to hear from you.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 28, 2016, 05:15:32 PM
I dug four post holes by hand after work. Maybe I'll be ready for pigs by the weekend if I stay after it. Kind of a pain in the ass to have to drive the truck to work, but I need it to do what I'm doing, so I guess I'll drive it the rest of the week.

My truck is starting to have that old man truck smell my Dad's used to have. Not sure where it comes from. I don't even dip. LOL.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 28, 2016, 05:24:35 PM

The problem though is the farm is owned by her parents and profits her parents. I'm working more less 50 hrs a week for room board food and to keep her folks quite.  It's complicated but more less i gotta get hitched with the gf and come up with a good chunk of coin to buy in the operation before I'd be able to even make a go of it.

If you marry her, why do you need to buy in?  When her parents go to the Great Beyond, you inherit the place with her.  Just don't sign a prenup before getting married, and produce a couple of little Roamers to cement the marriage.  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on March 28, 2016, 05:29:17 PM
Feel like just checking out and living the life of a vagabond road nomad.

There are far worse plans for one's life.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Golden Oxen on March 28, 2016, 05:32:07 PM
Well good to hear your making progress at the stead Eddie even if it comes with some hard lessons. 
Think I'm in the middle of a hard lesson myself.  Finally got my wish to do the whole grass fed dairy farm I was dreaming of it's just I've been doing it with my girlfriend in Wisconsin.  It's been a hard spring with 20 cows freshning over the last month more than a few nights sleep lost.  Mostly I like the lifestyle, my girlfriend is a great herdswomen, I do the tractor work, heavy lifting and feeding. 
The problem though is the farm is owned by her parents and profits her parents. I'm working more less 50 hrs a week for room board food and to keep her folks quite.  It's complicated but more less i gotta get hitched with the gf and come up with a good chunk of coin to buy in the operation before I'd be able to even make a go of it.
Despite having thought this to be my dream opportunity I'm losing much interest.  I don't think I can navigate the maize of buying in a tight knit family operation.  I also get a good hard look at dairy economics and think  it be damn near impossible to start out on my own now.
Feel like just checking out and living the life of a vagabond road nomad.

Run! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! 

The heck with checking out; just disappear into the night.

Leave a brief note if you wish, "Gone Fishing" works just fine. ;D

"Hit the Road Jack, and Don't You come Back No More"   


                                                     (http://images.primewire.ag/thumbs/481374_Route_66_Return_to_the_Road_with_Martin_Milner.jpg)


                                              (http://www.semissourian.com/photos/13/87/78/1387784-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Golden Oxen on March 28, 2016, 05:42:35 PM

The problem though is the farm is owned by her parents and profits her parents. I'm working more less 50 hrs a week for room board food and to keep her folks quite.  It's complicated but more less i gotta get hitched with the gf and come up with a good chunk of coin to buy in the operation before I'd be able to even make a go of it.

If you marry her, why do you need to buy in?  When her parents go to the Great Beyond, you inherit the place with her.  Just don't sign a prenup before getting married, and produce a couple of little Roamers to cement the marriage.  :icon_sunny:

RE

He Knows what to do. Roamer's brain is sending him a message loud and clear.

Don't listen to the mad hatter Roamer, the parents never die, never, never, you will be  pushing 70 when the old  man goes and the you will have ten more years or so waiting for grammy, who gets it when grampy goes.

Run, Run While you can. Listen to your noggin not your banana. You know what you gotta do.  :icon_mrgreen:


                                                 http://www.youtube.com/v/Q8Tiz6INF7I
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: roamer on March 28, 2016, 05:45:41 PM
Thanks for the perspective Eddie.  I do need to exercise more patience in this situation it really is so close to being what both my gf and myself want.  I'm just very apprehensive I'll end up stuck with no capital and no decision making ability and have her Catholic family run over our desired lifestyle.  It's really a tough call. I need to make my money off the farm for a while and let her old man sweat a bit on the chores helping my gf out. Then if things are still good in a year between my gf I can negotiate properly.  I'm giving them too much for nothing right now.

Hope your fence building project comes to fruition soon for you.  Also thought id say if you are short a hand seems like Austin is the type of town you ought to be able to find a young eager assistant to pitch in right?  I have an ex gf down there who is so crazy over farming shed probably come out for free if there was a little course and some food.  Just a thought...

RE,
Well it's a family farm but run like a biz, granted marriage would change their openess to me but even so the deal they cut my gf is not favorable.  I need cash to negotiate.  Farmers are some of the most ruthless bix people i know and I know this because I saw my uncle and cousins screw each other over until one was left with all the family land.  I need to cut a fair deal or have enough capital and proven operation record to pick up and start farm elsewhere or else they just railroad you with sky high valuations of land equipment and low wages because they are  the bank and know it.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Golden Oxen on March 28, 2016, 06:00:11 PM


                                                    (http://www.hagerty.com/yourstories/~/media/Images/Storytelling%20Submissions/2014/04/29/ROUTE66Revisted20140429034910.ashx)



                                                 (http://capitolcitycorvetteclub.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/img_1308.jpg)



                                                   (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v631/cyal8tr/00LS6RoadsteratBrittsRt66Grill.jpg)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 28, 2016, 06:03:20 PM
RE,
Well it's a family farm but run like a biz, granted marriage would change their openess to me but even so the deal they cut my gf is not favorable.  I need cash to negotiate.  Farmers are some of the most ruthless bix people i know and I know this because I saw my uncle and cousins screw each other over until one was left with all the family land.  I need to cut a fair deal or have enough capital and proven operation record to pick up and start farm elsewhere or else they just railroad you with sky high valuations of land equipment and low wages because they are  the bank and know it.

I agree making them sweat a bit by taking off for while if you have demonstrated your value to the biz to improve your negotiating position is a good tactic.  Also a good way to see if GF values your companionship enough to BEG Mom & Pop to cut you a better deal so you will return to the fold.  Are there other siblings who might inherit also?  That would complicate matters immensely of course.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on March 28, 2016, 06:13:16 PM
Thanks for the perspective Eddie.  I do need to exercise more patience in this situation it really is so close to being what both my gf and myself want.  I'm just very apprehensive I'll end up stuck with no capital and no decision making ability and have her Catholic family run over our desired lifestyle.  It's really a tough call. I need to make my money off the farm for a while and let her old man sweat a bit on the chores helping my gf out. Then if things are still good in a year between my gf I can negotiate properly.  I'm giving them too much for nothing right now.

And make sure you mention that in a polite, gentlemanly sort of way. Perhaps note that indeed there is economic potential in a dairy farm, do they have any suggestions or thoughts on how to continue rounding up free labor to make it work?

It was pretty standard in America once for a farmer to have a big family. Now you know why.

If you are SERIOUSLY talking or considering a piece of the business, it would behoove you to evaluate it as objectively as possible, including the length of time it takes you and her to have kids...the boys being the free labor until they leave, and the girls becoming bait to bring in the next sucker engineer/farmer/strong back type.

Quote from: Roamer
Hope your fence building project comes to fruition soon for you.  Also thought id say if you are short a hand seems like Austin is the type of town you ought to be able to find a young eager assistant to pitch in right? 

Picture of said person provided up thread. Suspicions abound that the wife is looking for some aesthetic improvement around the hunting cabin.

Quote from: Roamer
I have an ex gf down there who is so crazy over farming shed probably come out for free if there was a little course and some food.  Just a thought...

You can be Mrs Eddie's eye candy! No one is saying she will be more aggressive than wanting to touch smack your backside for a job well done, and as long as your gf doesn't mind that, well hell, this could work!

Quote from: Roamer

RE,
Well it's a family farm but run like a biz, granted marriage would change their openess to me but even so the deal they cut my gf is not favorable.  I need cash to negotiate.  Farmers are some of the most ruthless bix people i know and I know this because I saw my uncle and cousins screw each other over until one was left with all the family land.  I need to cut a fair deal or have enough capital and proven operation record to pick up and start farm elsewhere or else they just railroad you with sky high valuations of land equipment and low wages because they are  the bank and know it.

As yes, the smell of shiftiness and business acumen in the morning! Reminds me of the old days....go get'im Roamer! Myself, farming was just too damn much work, a point I am attempting to impress on my son, explaining that the reason I get to sit around issuing orders if because I am the force multiplier through brain power and project management, just like officers in the military, and HE gets to be part of the  grunt brigades...hurry up and wait....do what you are told...dig a ditch there...oops...fill the ditch back in...so on and so forth. Officers have it over the enlisted in this regard, I endlessly inform him.

But actually BEING a farmer....strikes me as a younger man's game...work work work because even once you own a piece, you'll work yourself into the ground trying to make it work. And it will be hard to give up after those first few years, and then you'll sneeze one morning, be 50 years old, no more exploring from now until then because hey...ownership stops you until your daughters are old enough to fetch some free labor.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on March 28, 2016, 06:18:50 PM
                                                 (http://capitolcitycorvetteclub.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/img_1308.jpg)


You got the right idea GO. DAMN fine idea...as I have been telling anyone who will listen for a year now. Time for a road trip!

(http://data.whicdn.com/images/117990621/large.jpg)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Golden Oxen on March 28, 2016, 07:54:11 PM
Thanks for the perspective Eddie.  I do need to exercise more patience in this situation it really is so close to being what both my gf and myself want.  I'm just very apprehensive I'll end up stuck with no capital and no decision making ability and have her Catholic family run over our desired lifestyle.  It's really a tough call. I need to make my money off the farm for a while and let her old man sweat a bit on the chores helping my gf out. Then if things are still good in a year between my gf I can negotiate properly.  I'm giving them too much for nothing right now.

And make sure you mention that in a polite, gentlemanly sort of way. Perhaps note that indeed there is economic potential in a dairy farm, do they have any suggestions or thoughts on how to continue rounding up free labor to make it work?

It was pretty standard in America once for a farmer to have a big family. Now you know why.

If you are SERIOUSLY talking or considering a piece of the business, it would behoove you to evaluate it as objectively as possible, including the length of time it takes you and her to have kids...the boys being the free labor until they leave, and the girls becoming bait to bring in the next sucker engineer/farmer/strong back type.

Quote from: Roamer
Hope your fence building project comes to fruition soon for you.  Also thought id say if you are short a hand seems like Austin is the type of town you ought to be able to find a young eager assistant to pitch in right? 

Picture of said person provided up thread. Suspicions abound that the wife is looking for some aesthetic improvement around the hunting cabin.

Quote from: Roamer
I have an ex gf down there who is so crazy over farming shed probably come out for free if there was a little course and some food.  Just a thought...

You can be Mrs Eddie's eye candy! No one is saying she will be more aggressive than wanting to touch smack your backside for a job well done, and as long as your gf doesn't mind that, well hell, this could work!

Quote from: Roamer

RE,
Well it's a family farm but run like a biz, granted marriage would change their openess to me but even so the deal they cut my gf is not favorable.  I need cash to negotiate.  Farmers are some of the most ruthless bix people i know and I know this because I saw my uncle and cousins screw each other over until one was left with all the family land.  I need to cut a fair deal or have enough capital and proven operation record to pick up and start farm elsewhere or else they just railroad you with sky high valuations of land equipment and low wages because they are  the bank and know it.

As yes, the smell of shiftiness and business acumen in the morning! Reminds me of the old days....go get'im Roamer! Myself, farming was just too damn much work, a point I am attempting to impress on my son, explaining that the reason I get to sit around issuing orders if because I am the force multiplier through brain power and project management, just like officers in the military, and HE gets to be part of the  grunt brigades...hurry up and wait....do what you are told...dig a ditch there...oops...fill the ditch back in...so on and so forth. Officers have it over the enlisted in this regard, I endlessly inform him.

But actually BEING a farmer....strikes me as a younger man's game...work work work because even once you own a piece, you'll work yourself into the ground trying to make it work. And it will be hard to give up after those first few years, and then you'll sneeze one morning, be 50 years old, no more exploring from now until then because hey...ownership stops you until your daughters are old enough to fetch some free labor.

Yes MKing "Rank Has It's Privileges" is what we used to say in my Army days.

Sure glad I wasn't an enlisted hole digger.

Some Grow and Harvest the Grass, some of us only smoke it.  :laugh: :laugh:



                                                          (http://i1356.photobucket.com/albums/q725/Mcqueenkid/War%20KP1/052_52_zps1fca5239.jpg)


Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 29, 2016, 06:05:02 AM
I had a three day weekend last weekend and my sleep cycle got messed up because I stayed up too late just enjoying quiet times with my partner. Saturday night we rolled out to the lake cottage after dinner, and sat out on the pier in the moonlight until much too late.

 I slept exceedingly late the next morning. Sunday night I slept like crap, and I felt borderline shitty all day yesterday, until I got out to the place and dug a few post holes.

Last night I slept much better, and enjoyed the drive to work this morning.. This time of year it's still dark on my morning commute, especially if it's cloudy, as it was this morning. I never play the radio in the morning, preferring to listen to the silence, only disturbed by my own thoughts, which I try not to hold on to.

How much difference good sleep makes is amazing. I still have plenty on my plate this week, but my attitude is so much better. Work looks fairly light this morning. I'll attack a couple of things on my paperwork to-do list.

I did drive the truck, so it's back to post holes after 4 pm.

I'd function better if I always went to bed at ten o'clock. I have that kind of diurnal nature. But I am persuaded that when I'm on my deathbed that I won't regret the hours I lost to sitting on the dock in the moonlight  with the love of my life.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 29, 2016, 06:24:27 AM
But I am persuaded that when I'm on my deathbed that I won't regret the hours I lost to sitting on the dock in the moonlight  with the love of my life.

What a romantic! (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WtPbSOvCETI/U5V6oRJaN0I/AAAAAAAAIGU/NpM2QipQtnQ/s1600/emoticons-kissing.png)


RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Surly1 on March 29, 2016, 10:12:11 AM
But I am persuaded that when I'm on my deathbed that I won't regret the hours I lost to sitting on the dock in the moonlight  with the love of my life.

Now HERE is the quote of the day.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: roamer on March 29, 2016, 03:07:15 PM

Quote from: Roamer

RE,
Well it's a family farm but run like a biz, granted marriage would change their openess to me but even so the deal they cut my gf is not favorable.  I need cash to negotiate.  Farmers are some of the most ruthless bix people i know and I know this because I saw my uncle and cousins screw each other over until one was left with all the family land.  I need to cut a fair deal or have enough capital and proven operation record to pick up and start farm elsewhere or else they just railroad you with sky high valuations of land equipment and low wages because they are  the bank and know it.

As yes, the smell of shiftiness and business acumen in the morning! Reminds me of the old days....go get'im Roamer! Myself, farming was just too damn much work, a point I am attempting to impress on my son, explaining that the reason I get to sit around issuing orders if because I am the force multiplier through brain power and project management, just like officers in the military, and HE gets to be part of the  grunt brigades...hurry up and wait....do what you are told...dig a ditch there...oops...fill the ditch back in...so on and so forth. Officers have it over the enlisted in this regard, I endlessly inform him.

But actually BEING a farmer....strikes me as a younger man's game...work work work because even once you own a piece, you'll work yourself into the ground trying to make it work. And it will be hard to give up after those first few years, and then you'll sneeze one morning, be 50 years old, no more exploring from now until then because hey...ownership stops you until your daughters are old enough to fetch some free labor.

You are right farming is a young mans game, build sweat equity and knowledge in 20's and 30's and then shift towards managing.  Pretty big gap to close if I'd wanna jump in.  What the place has going for it is an organic grass fed premium you'd have to try to lose money at ($41 vs $17/100wt) and no debt.  But its all old infrastructure and machinery.  If I was to do it I would have to buy in to the llc and then build a parlor (DIY for $30K) so I could milk 80 cows with the same labor as the current 50.  Also need to diversify and get some direct market beef and hogs to take advantage of the more marginal land.  Assuming I could buy in decent we could make a decent go of things.  The uncertainty though is the same as oil, market commodity price.   I got a sneaking suspicion there are going to be lots of new creameries popping up fighting for that grass fed premium customers will pay.  If that price crashed due to competition things would get dicey.
Your right 50 could come up on me in a quick sneeze trying to play this game.  Perhaps I stay true to my name and my viking ancestors and carry on with my vagabondways.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on March 30, 2016, 05:36:30 PM
You are right farming is a young mans game, build sweat equity and knowledge in 20's and 30's and then shift towards managing.  Pretty big gap to close if I'd wanna jump in.  What the place has going for it is an organic grass fed premium you'd have to try to lose money at ($41 vs $17/100wt) and no debt.  But its all old infrastructure and machinery.  If I was to do it I would have to buy in to the llc and then build a parlor (DIY for $30K) so I could milk 80 cows with the same labor as the current 50.  Also need to diversify and get some direct market beef and hogs to take advantage of the more marginal land.  Assuming I could buy in decent we could make a decent go of things.  The uncertainty though is the same as oil, market commodity price.   I got a sneaking suspicion there are going to be lots of new creameries popping up fighting for that grass fed premium customers will pay.  If that price crashed due to competition things would get dicey.
Your right 50 could come up on me in a quick sneeze trying to play this game.  Perhaps I stay true to my name and my viking ancestors and carry on with my vagabondways.
Screw getting older!

Screw the money!

Screw doom!


How do you feel about the cows?



Because if you are going to devote your life to the dairy business, you should love cows.


Are you excited to get out of bed to how "your girls" are doing?

Does it pain you to see one of them suffering?

...If I were to be a farmer, I would grow (more) herbs.  One of the highlights of my year is seeing which plants survived the winter.


If this is just going to be drudge work, then only make the commitment of a hired hand.

Note, though, that you can make an equally satisfying career choice fighting something you hate, say, taxes, or cavities.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 31, 2016, 05:57:21 AM
Good point.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: roamer on March 31, 2016, 08:47:32 AM

Screw getting older!

Screw the money!

Screw doom!


How do you feel about the cows?



Because if you are going to devote your life to the dairy business, you should love cows.


Are you excited to get out of bed to how "your girls" are doing?

Does it pain you to see one of them suffering?

...If I were to be a farmer, I would grow (more) herbs.  One of the highlights of my year is seeing which plants survived the winter.


If this is just going to be drudge work, then only make the commitment of a hired hand.

Note, though, that you can make an equally satisfying career choice fighting something you hate, say, taxes, or cavities.

Solid words of wisdom jdwheeler thank you.  Your point was brought home to me today as i brought the dirty ladies into the barn and cussedly bent my 6'4" frame over to squeeze in between each crowded stall and wash and milk them.  I do not love milking cows nor do I love cows all that much.  I love the notion that if I do good hard ethical work that I can have the independence and freedom I want.  Its the romantic ideal not the actual reality which I have fallen in love with.  The reality is so much more complex and as is becoming apparent perhaps the total opposite of independence.

It really deals a death blow to my dream idea of being an off grid farmer.  I have neither the capital, the youth, nor as has become apparent the love.  As I peel the layers of that failed dream apart too I can see more clearly the initial flame.  It was the desire to live free and independent in a way that was ethical to all.  Though I still desire to live free and virtuous I don't have a clear picture of what that looks like.  Its so muddled in my mind the actual complexities of reality have washed it away.  I can say so much less than I could in my early twenties when that dream was hatched.

So it is quite ironic or just sad that I'm going to be headed out to the oil patch again to work and try to get a little cash stored up and figure out my next move. I suppose I deserve alot of sellout crap but I can't economically survive the situation I'm in, good girlfriend or not. To work 50 hr for free on a farm each week and then work even harder jobs for $12/hr off the farm to pay my actual bills and cursed student loans.  I'm getting grey hairs now and I think I am finally starting to catch on to what my old man was trying to tell me about the ways of the world. So it goes.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on March 31, 2016, 08:54:56 AM
Hang in there, it gets better. No sell-out crap from me.

Life is a hard row to hoe for most of us. We all have to do the best we can, and that's good enough.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on March 31, 2016, 11:37:59 AM
So it is quite ironic or just sad that I'm going to be headed out to the oil patch again to work and try to get a little cash stored up and figure out my next move.

There's work out in the Oil Patch to be had?  You have a job offer?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: roamer on March 31, 2016, 12:28:07 PM
Yep so long as your willing to work as a low cost contractor and still do good work.  It's not exactly a good deal, if it wasn't for the fact I can eschew rent while living on a rig ID just go for a city job.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on March 31, 2016, 12:43:56 PM
So it is quite ironic or just sad that I'm going to be headed out to the oil patch again to work and try to get a little cash stored up and figure out my next move. I suppose I deserve alot of sellout crap but I can't economically survive the situation I'm in, good girlfriend or not.

A fair many test their metal in the match Roamer, few have what it takes to last. Be proud of being one of those so capable, in a world of marshmallows, having your character forged to steel.

Here is an advantage of rig work that I have seen many times, and enjoyed myself. The company men, directional drillers and MWD hands go to work while there is work, for as long as there is work. They then buy that place that they otherwise would never be able to own, an island, a place off in the pines, far from paved roads or electric poles. Your income is portable, as is the location of your work place. You can work anywhere in the world, making oil field moneyas opposed to marshmallow money, but when it is time for a break, that place, set up the way you want it set up, is the place to be. Can't run a farm while away, unless someone will do it for you, but when you aren't working, you can have that life for as long as you can stand it. Sort of like advanced telecommuting, plus your $$ will go much farther in a remote area in terms of land and accomodations, than it would if you were doing 9-5 flying a desk.

Quote from: Roamer
To work 50 hr for free on a farm each week and then work even harder jobs for $12/hr off the farm to pay my actual bills and cursed student loans.  I'm getting grey hairs now and I think I am finally starting to catch on to what my old man was trying to tell me about the ways of the world. So it goes.

So it goes. But in the patch you can always count on that one thing, nearly as sure as death and taxes, and that is the consumer of world. They will bitch and moan and complain but they will also PAY. Every time. They ensure the industry will survive, they have done it in multiple centuries now,  over the far worse boom and busts even in my lifetime, and given time, you will go through these as well. Consumers will never let the oil industry down, unstoppable by blogosphere triangles of doom that aren't, the silly tales of peak oilers, or anyone else. They just can't stop....and because they can't...the industry will boom again...just as it has before.

so chin up! Think about a little cabin on a mountain with some land where you can spend your time where you want to be when you aren't working, and don't ever stop learning, MWD to directional driller to company man, you've got the academics to get there, and you even know people who have done MWD to world class, among the 5 or so regular posters even!

Good luck!
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on April 01, 2016, 11:09:09 AM
I love the notion that if I do good hard ethical work that I can have the independence and freedom I want.  Its the romantic ideal not the actual reality which I have fallen in love with.  The reality is so much more complex and as is becoming apparent perhaps the total opposite of independence.

It really deals a death blow to my dream idea of being an off grid farmer.  I have neither the capital, the youth, nor as has become apparent the love.  As I peel the layers of that failed dream apart too I can see more clearly the initial flame.  It was the desire to live free and independent in a way that was ethical to all.  Though I still desire to live free and virtuous I don't have a clear picture of what that looks like.  Its so muddled in my mind the actual complexities of reality have washed it away.  I can say so much less than I could in my early twenties when that dream was hatched.

So it is quite ironic or just sad that I'm going to be headed out to the oil patch again to work and try to get a little cash stored up and figure out my next move. I suppose I deserve alot of sellout crap but I can't economically survive the situation I'm in, good girlfriend or not. To work 50 hr for free on a farm each week and then work even harder jobs for $12/hr off the farm to pay my actual bills and cursed student loans.  I'm getting grey hairs now and I think I am finally starting to catch on to what my old man was trying to tell me about the ways of the world. So it goes.
Don't despair, this is not a defeat.  You can not always know where a path will take you, sometimes you have to start down it to see if is leading where you want to go.  Just be thankful that you haven't wasted decades or gotten yourself under a burden of hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt before realizing this wasn't the path you wanted.

You are not a sell-out for going back to the oil patch to regroup, rebuild, and rethink.  You only become a sell-out if you completely give up on the dream of living a free and virtuous life.  The first step in getting what you want is knowing what you want, and frequently it is the hardest.  Keep working on getting yourself in a better situation financially while you figure out your next moves.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 11, 2016, 09:58:26 AM
Eddie's Patented Solar Powered Pig Prison is virtually complete.

But it's size, 16' X 32' looks too small to me, and I'm going to make it bigger by a third. Using those welded wire panels makes that pretty easy. Just more post holes to dig and more T-posts to drive. I'm getting into pretty good upper body shape, LOL.

I installed a white rope electric fence (one strand at nose height) which is supposed to be powered by a small solar panel. This is not to make make the pen more pig-proof, but rather to train them to the fence, which will be used to make temporary enclosures when the animals are put out in the pasture.

I have ordered a feeder and an automatic watering device which should be arriving this week, and I also am getting a guy to weld up a cage for the back of the truck, to transport the stock home. Hope I hear back from him. If he flakes, I'll have to make some kind of cover for the back of the pickup myself out of the same kind of panels I'm using for the pen. I hope he gets it done. I found him on CL and worry he might not be dependable. He didn't ask for a deposit, though, so I'm out nothing but time.

I hope to drive up and get the babies next weekend.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on April 11, 2016, 10:16:18 AM
I hope to drive up and get the babies next weekend.

Now you really ARE a PIGMAN!  :icon_mrgreen:  lol.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 16, 2016, 06:16:27 PM
I drove up and got the pigs. Long day on the trail....Couple of long days on the trail.

Spent yesterday afternoon building a welded wire panel truck box by hand because the welder from CL totally flaked. Turned out the pigs were so small the cage bars were too wide and I ended up bringing all three of them home in a dog carrier. I had thought I was getting yearlings, but I had to settle for some that are barely weaned.

They are incredibly cute...I'm worried about predators. My pig pen does not have high fence. I will rework the electric fence to fix this problem, but the next couple of nights I better spend the night. Right now the electric fence is not working, needs debugging. I will get it worked out, hopefully tomorrow.

I'm going to order 300 or so feet of electric poultry mesh  to make a pasture fence. Right now the pen is huge for them, but it won't be for long. They are currently happily eating the grass in the pen, which is lush at the moment. That won't last either.

Nice younger couple who sold me the pigs. Hopefully I can buy one or two more later in the year, once I get my act together. A four hour drive from the Austin house, but all rural once I hit Waco. Three hours back to the stead, which is  north of here. Now I'm back in Austin.

Not a great day for my carbon footprint, but everything went well, with no truck issues and the animals traveled fine all in a puppy pile in the carrier.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on April 16, 2016, 06:33:34 PM
I drove up and got the pigs. Long day on the trail....Couple of long days on the trail.

Spent yesterday afternoon building a welded wire panel truck box by hand because the welder from CL totally flaked. Turned out the pigs were so small the cage bars were too wide and I ended up bringing all three of them home in a dog carrier. I had thought I was getting yearlings, but I had to settle for some that are barely weaned.

They are incredibly cute...I'm worried about predators. My pig pen does not have high fence. I will rework the electric fence to fix this problem, but the next couple of nights I better spend the night. Right now the electric fence is not working, needs debugging. I will get it worked out, hopefully tomorrow.

I'm going to order 300 or so feet of electric poultry mesh  to make a pasture fence. Right now the pen is huge for them, but it won't be for long. They are currently happily eating the grass in the pen, which is lush at the moment. That won't last either.

Nice younger couple who sold me the pigs. Hopefully I can buy one or two more later in the year, once I get my act together. A four hour drive from the Austin house, but all rural once I hit Waco. Three hours back to the stead, which is  north of here. Now I'm back in Austin.

Not a great day for my carbon footprint, but everything went well, with no truck issues and the animals traveled fine all in a puppy pile in the carrier.

I am doing a lot of research right now on Mobile Penning Systems for small animals (think Chicken Tractors).  You might consider building each of them an individual movable pen, or one large one for the 3 of them while they are still small.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 16, 2016, 06:42:37 PM
I'm going to build what they call a pig ark. A moveable shelter,, mostly for shade here.  I'm going to rotate them through the pastures with the temporary e-fence. For now....because that's what I can do quickly..... but even after I get a secure perimeter fence, I'll still use the poultry fence on the inside for small enclosures.

Right now I have the pen, and I'll just make a surround with the poultry netting and open the gate to the pen. You don't need poultry netting to keep in pigs, but it is said to be better to keep predators out, because it's taller than pig/sheep e-fence. I might also put bird netting on top of the pen itself for a while since we have that big hawk. My guess is she loves pork.

The person to read or watch on utoob on that kind of stuff is Joel Salatin. Hope he's on your list, as far as your research.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: knarf on April 16, 2016, 06:58:49 PM
Congratulations with getting the 3 piglets. We raised pigs for about 10 years, and went through many trials and errors with keeping them contained as they grew. It is a little ironic that just today I began a blog at wordpress ( the free kind )
so I could upload pictures to a place on the internet. I more easily place pictures in my messages here with having a url address to get the image location on the web.  I uploaded quite a few pictures of our hog operation. If you would like to see what our "farm" is like and a few pens and free grazing of the hogs the url is http://openmind693.wordpress.com (http://openmind693.wordpress.com) . I just started today, so not much is there but click on "The Farm" to see what our operation is like. Best of "luck" with your new "children". :)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 16, 2016, 07:02:27 PM
Awesome! Thank you Knarf.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: knarf on April 16, 2016, 07:06:36 PM
I had to fix the link but it ready now.....If you have any questions please ask, and we will answer the best we can.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on April 16, 2016, 07:19:46 PM
The person to read or watch on utoob on that kind of stuff is Joel Salatin. Hope he's on your list, as far as your research.

I'm cruising through as much as I can under the deadline while preparing the Brochures for the Big Show for the Chamber of Commerce on May 10th, with still enough time left over to do all the drawings and write the text and do layout, plus enough time to mess with my Doom Fi ideas for self-entertainment.  I'm not writing any blogs this month or doing any audio. That had to be sacrificed.

Any specific links you have that you think would be worthwhile to include info from are :hi:

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: agelbert on April 16, 2016, 07:44:07 PM
Congratulations with getting the 3 piglets. We raised pigs for about 10 years, and went through many trials and errors with keeping them contained as they grew. It is a little ironic that just today I began a blog at wordpress ( the free kind )
so I could upload pictures to a place on the internet. I more easily place pictures in my messages here with having a url address to get the image location on the web.  I uploaded quite a few pictures of our hog operation. If you would like to see what our "farm" is like and a few pens and free grazing of the hogs the url is http://openmind693.wordpress.com (http://openmind693.wordpress.com) . I just started today, so not much is there but click on "The Farm" to see what our operation is like. Best of "luck" with your new "children". :)

Knarf,
Great pictures!  (http://www.pic4ever.com/images/treeswing.gif)  Nice kitty!   (http://www.createaforum.com/gallery/renewablerevolution/3-301014183407.gif)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on April 16, 2016, 08:09:41 PM
Congratulations with getting the 3 piglets. We raised pigs for about 10 years, and went through many trials and errors with keeping them contained as they grew. It is a little ironic that just today I began a blog at wordpress ( the free kind )
so I could upload pictures to a place on the internet. I more easily place pictures in my messages here with having a url address to get the image location on the web.  I uploaded quite a few pictures of our hog operation. If you would like to see what our "farm" is like and a few pens and free grazing of the hogs the url is http://openmind693.wordpress.com (http://openmind693.wordpress.com) . I just started today, so not much is there but click on "The Farm" to see what our operation is like. Best of "luck" with your new "children". :)

Those are BEAUTIFUL pics Knarf!

You want me to make a Photo Blog for them?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: MKing on April 16, 2016, 08:55:40 PM
Congratulations with getting the 3 piglets. We raised pigs for about 10 years, and went through many trials and errors with keeping them contained as they grew. It is a little ironic that just today I began a blog at wordpress ( the free kind )
so I could upload pictures to a place on the internet. I more easily place pictures in my messages here with having a url address to get the image location on the web.  I uploaded quite a few pictures of our hog operation. If you would like to see what our "farm" is like and a few pens and free grazing of the hogs the url is http://openmind693.wordpress.com (http://openmind693.wordpress.com) . I just started today, so not much is there but click on "The Farm" to see what our operation is like. Best of "luck" with your new "children". :)

The tractor doing a wheelie was cool!
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: jdwheeler42 on April 16, 2016, 09:22:42 PM
Any specific links you have that you think would be worthwhile to include info from are :hi:

! No longer available (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgAehusvbog#) -- Quick video tour of pig paddocks on Joel Salatin's farm; Joel is nowhere in sight

! No longer available (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=who0VEOPvkk#) -- Crappy video, but good audio of Joel talking about pasturing pigs.  Not worth watching, but perhaps worth a listen.

https://theelliotthomestead.com/2014/03/pastured-pigs-checklist-cost/ (https://theelliotthomestead.com/2014/03/pastured-pigs-checklist-cost/)  --  Not Salatin, but a nice checklist and review of costs for getting started with pigs
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on April 16, 2016, 10:06:11 PM
Quick video tour of pig paddocks on Joel Salatin's farm; Joel is nowhere in sight...

Crappy video, but good audio of Joel talking about pasturing pigs.  Not worth watching, but perhaps worth a listen...

Not Salatin, but a nice checklist and review of costs for getting started with pigs

I watched a couple of these vids, and while educational for MOI, are not what I need in putting together textual material and brochures.

I need good concise text I can take quotes from and appropriate images to go with that text.  Videos are not real helpful to me for this project.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: agelbert on April 17, 2016, 02:21:49 PM
Quick video tour of pig paddocks on Joel Salatin's farm; Joel is nowhere in sight...

Crappy video, but good audio of Joel talking about pasturing pigs.  Not worth watching, but perhaps worth a listen...

Not Salatin, but a nice checklist and review of costs for getting started with pigs

I watched a couple of these vids, and while educational for MOI, are not what I need in putting together textual material and brochures.

I need good concise text I can take quotes from and appropriate images to go with that text.  Videos are not real helpful to me for this project.

RE



Here's an idea for the piggies perpetuating the species (mating-hogs-005) picture.  ;) You can call it "Animal Wife-ery".    (http://www.pic4ever.com/images/4fvfcja.gif)

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 19, 2016, 06:58:31 AM
The piglets have gotten through the rainy weekend with no issues. The new feeder is keeping their feed dry, and they have already learned how to open its door to get to the feed. They are a little skittish still, but I worked on the pen yesterday after work, and after half an hour, I looked up and the biggest of the three was standing IN the feeder and the other two were eating under her feet.

I beefed up the pen by  putting a couple of feet of bird mesh above the welded wire panels to make the pen taller, and I put an e-fence wire OUTSIDE the pen, level with the bottom edge of the bird mesh to discourage any coyotes from testing it. I think with maybe one or two more hot wires on the outside, it'll  be adequate. Not sure about the hawks, but the babies do have the shed to protect them if they see the attack coming. I'm going to get a shade tarp up that will also be a barrier. We shall see, as they say. In a couple of  months they'll be big enough to protect themselves.

The e-fence chargers from Tractor Supply really suck. I need to find better ones. They are solar, but they seem pretty mickey mouse and the online reviews of their brand (Zareba) are mostly bad.  And the batteries are pretty minimal. I need to get the ones that use a full-size deep cycle marine battery.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on April 19, 2016, 03:50:42 PM
The piglets have gotten through the rainy weekend with no issues.

So when are we going to see some pics of the cuties?  ;D

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 19, 2016, 06:23:39 PM
I took some yesterday but I haven't found time to upload them. I'm really busier at work with our new schedule, and then I've been checking on the pigs daily, which adds maybe a half hour to my commute, plus whatever time it takes me to feed the pigs and drink a beer.  ;D
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on April 29, 2016, 09:55:47 AM
In the past week I'm back to working on the perimeter fence for the stead. It's a priority now because of the livestock. I'm worried about security too, since I have the road through the property, and I'm anxious to have at least one really well fenced pig-proof pasture. I will be using the mesh e-fence as a movable paddock, but I want a second perimeter. Out there, if the pigs did get out, I'd probably never get them back.

I got the tractor to dig my post holes finally, although I had to jury rig the three-point hook-up. The big auger is set up for a Category 2 Tractor, which uses bigger draw pins than my new tractor. I made do with some one inch threaded stock and nuts and washers. Crude, but I was up and running the first day. I will get the original mounting pins turned down to fit the tractor if I can find a real machine shop with a lathe. One more thing on the list.

Even with the auger, the holes have to be enlarged and cleaned out, so it took me about a day's labor, spread out over last weekend and the afternoons after work this week, to dig and set the nine cross ties for corner braces on the first 600 or so feet of road frontage.  I expect it'll take me a couple more weeks at least to get just that one side of the pasture done, working when I have time. I expect to be working on pasture fences for the rest of the year.

It rained one night before I got the last four posts set, and I got to dig those holes out a second time, as they got filled with mud. I won't make that mistake again. As farm jobs go, building fence is low on excitement, but I'll be glad to see it finally done, and it adds value to the property.

The pigs are fine, but still not completely tame. I'm working on it, talking to them and trying to figure out what they want for treats. So far, apples are not it. Yesterday I pulled the grass up that was touching the e-fence, and they happily munched down on that. They've eaten maybe 50% of the grass inside their pen. They aren't eating a whole lot of pig food yet, less than I thought they would. But they look healthy, and after two weeks the little male is starting to outgrow the females.




                     
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 01, 2016, 09:31:02 PM
I was out at the stead until nearly dark, and I saw a big old wild turkey tom. I set the fenceposts late this afternoon.. It took 20 bags of ready-mix.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on May 01, 2016, 09:33:37 PM
I was out at the stead until nearly dark, and I saw a big old wild turkey tom. I set the fenceposts late this afternoon.. It took 20 bags of ready-mix.

PICS!  We need PICS!

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 02, 2016, 03:51:02 AM
I had some trouble getting my pig pics uploaded. Flickr has made it difficult unless you become a paid subscriber. I need to find a new site.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on May 02, 2016, 04:02:28 AM
I had some trouble getting my pig pics uploaded. Flickr has made it difficult unless you become a paid subscriber. I need to find a new site.

We have a Media Library on the Diner Forum SMF chief.

It is Button 7 from the left on the second row.

You can also load to the Blog Media Library on Diner WP as well.  You ARE an Admin.  The Diner has tons of space for this stuff.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 04, 2016, 09:25:00 PM
The pigs are crazy for Wonder Bread soaked in milk. I gave it a try on Saturday, after the missus had it suggested by my janitor, who has some pig history. It was an instant hit.

Now they are extremely interested in my daily stop-off, and will eat out of my hand, although they aren't comfortable with being touched.I brought them some alfalfa yesterday.

I am ready to string barbed wire for the first run of fence on Friday. I wish my father were here to help me. He was a barbed wire profesional.

Leaving the stead, I saw a jackrabbit with huge ears, and then a fox. LD saw a fox at  the convo. I haven't seen one since.

It hasn't been a good winter for birds like last winter...but I sat at the falls and watched the creek tonight for long enough to drink a beer. It must be flowing thousands of gallons per minute right now. I wish I had some water storage to save some of it.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on May 04, 2016, 11:16:51 PM
The pigs are crazy for Wonder Bread soaked in milk. I gave it a try on Saturday, after the missus had it suggested by my janitor, who has some pig history. It was an instant hit.

Now they are extremely interested in my daily stop-off, and will eat out of my hand, although they aren't comfortable with being touched.I brought them some alfalfa yesterday.

I am ready to string barbed wire for the first run of fence on Friday. I wish my father were here to help me. He was a barbed wire profesional.

Leaving the stead, I saw a jackrabbit with huge ears, and then a fox. LD saw a fox at  the convo. I haven't seen one since.

It hasn't been a good winter for birds like last winter...but I sat at the falls and watched the creek tonight for long enough to drink a beer. It must be flowing thousands of gallons per minute right now. I wish I had some water storage to save some of it.

Pics!  We need PICS!

Isn't Wonder Bread soaked in Milk pretty expensive Pig Feed?  Do they qualify as "organically raised" on Wonder Bread?

Too bad the creek doesn't flow like that all the time.  You could build a nice little Hydro plant.  I wonder how much power it would churn out?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 13, 2016, 07:40:06 AM
Building my fences is giving me a new respect for my old man, who built fences and barns and other ranch structures as a second job when I was growing up. My efforts seem so slow, compared to the speed I remember him having. I am doing it on weekends and after work....but then so was he, and he'd have gone out of business at my current rate of construction.

But it's going. I'm managing to get in a little work most days now on the fence, but yesterday my jury-rigged 3-point attachment job failed on the post hole digging machine. I need to get the real draw pins turned down in a machine shop. I'm sure there's one out there in farm country that can do it, but I need to hunt it down. Such old school places are getting harder to find. Meanwhile, I will repeat the same quick-fix and keep digging.

If I have a productive weekend, I'll have the first 600 or so feet finished. That's just the road frontage. I estimate the first pasture will end up being a total of maybe 3500 feet.  Twenty recycled railroad cross-ties, a hundred or more cedar posts, a couple of hundred t-posts, wire, staples.

I'll be lucky to get out for a buck a foot, with me doing all the labor. It might be more. Expensive. I have no idea what fence builders are getting these days for a fence like this. Most of the ones I see being built are all metal corners and t-posts, to save on labor costs...They go up quickly, but they aren't as good.

The pig are doing fine, but the pen is turning into a...well, a pig-sty. I need to get them out into a bigger paddock as soon as I can. All my other projects are on hold until I get this job done.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 23, 2016, 06:44:57 PM
I set 15 posts in concrete this afternoon, which involved repairing the PhD (post hole digging) machine. Nine of the holes had been dug before my jury-rigged three point attachment pins went south. Even though the machine is a great aid, I still have to use a hand post hole digger to clean out the loose dirt from each one.  We've had so much wet weather, the ones I'd dug previously had standing water and mud.

I was motivated especially because I had 20 heavy (80 pound) bags of ready-mix in the back of my truck, and I wanted to use it instead of having to unload it and reload it later. It threatened rain all weekend, but the concrete was still good. I used three-fourths of it and stored the rest under the shed.

I bought a cool toy, a portable on-demand hot water heater, which I used to set up an outdoor shower. It uses propane, but it's very efficient. I might set up some kind of big tent out on the stead for the summer and work on a semi-permanent campsite. I want to do some more major work on the cabin, like plumbing stuff and replacing bad flooring in a couple of spots. It would be nice to be able to spend the night out there and not have to stay indoors.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on May 24, 2016, 02:49:05 AM
I might set up some kind of big tent out on the stead for the summer and work on a semi-permanent campsite. I want to do some more major work on the cabin, like plumbing stuff and replacing bad flooring in a couple of spots. It would be nice to be able to spend the night out there and not have to stay indoors.

Here's the design for the SUN☼ Festival & Farmer's Market Booth.  It's made from 1-2" diameter Bamboo poles.  It's meant to go up in roughly 2 hours with 2 people doing the assembly, and be up on a semi-permanent basis. The open walls can be enclosed.

SUN Festival 2
SUN Festival 2

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 24, 2016, 10:24:52 PM
I bought a tent. This review did it.

5.0 out of 5 stars  This is the best tent on the market today

Shut up and buy this tent! This is the best tent on the market today. My husband and I have been living in it while remodeling our cabin. We have been in it a month now, and it is fantastic. We are not young, in our early 60s, and there is plenty of room for our dog, our stuff, and even a potty. It does not leak when it rains, and it has so much ventilation, that it stays cool with the slightest breeze. You have to zip it up on the outside, so you need to catch the rain indicators early, unless you don't mind zipping up the rain fly while getting a drop or two of rain on you. But you are camping, for gosh sake,…not going to the prom! This tent is roomy and beautiful. Just shut up, stop looking, and buy this tent. Easy to assemble, great carrying bag, with good handle and wheels! Oh, it is 14 feet in diameter (octagon) so you will need to pick up two 12 x 14 tarps, if you want the benefit of full tarpage below your tent. I could not find a 14 x 14 tarp. The bottom of the tent is strong, and you really don't need any tarp, but I like the extra protection, especially since we are actually living in this thing for such a long stint. The cabin will be done soon, but we are leaving up the tent for a screen room cocktail lounge! Buy it, you won't be disappointed!!


http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Octagon-98-Room-Tent/dp/B00JOXSYU2 (http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Octagon-98-Room-Tent/dp/B00JOXSYU2)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61OtzWkdKPL._SL1200_.jpg)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on May 24, 2016, 10:41:18 PM
Personally, if you re going with a Tent, I like my 3 Room Version  200 Sq Ft version better.

(http://cdn.frugalcouponliving.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Ozark-Trail-10-Person-3-Room-Cabin-Tent-with-Front-Porch.jpg)

For a semi-permanet dwelling though, I think Bamboo structures are better.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 29, 2016, 09:43:02 AM
I drove up to East Texas Friday night and picked up two more female Mangalitsas, a blonde and a swallow-belly, who are a year old and hopefully pregnant already. It was a little dicey getting them both unloaded by myself, but I got them into the pen, which I can see is woefully inadequate for five animals.

I guess my first move will be to build a second pen for the bigger girls, or just add on to the present one and double it in size, which I had designed for, but....damn, just one more priority job that must be completely rapidly.

I let the little ones out into the paddock when I'm there, but the new ones need to get used to the e-fence inside the pen before I trust it to keep them in the paddock. I don't even trust the e-fence completely for the young ones, although, to date, they have not made any effort to escape. They've spent as much as several hours in it. I was going to let them stay in it overnight, last night, but I had to come back to town to take care of the dogs, because everyone else is off somewhere. I just didn't have the energy to drive all the way back out there, and anyway, I have to pick up the missus at the airport at 2:30 today.

Tomorrow will be a serious work day.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on May 29, 2016, 11:00:27 AM
I drove up to East Texas Friday night and picked up two more female Mangalitsas, a blonde and a swallow-belly, who are a year old and hopefully pregnant already. It was a little dicey getting them both unloaded by myself, but I got them into the pen, which I can see is woefully inadequate for five animals.

I guess my first move will be to build a second pen for the bigger girls, or just add on to the present one and double it in size, which I had designed for, but....damn, just one more priority job that must be completely rapidly.

I let the little ones out into the paddock when I'm there, but the new ones need to get used to the e-fence inside the pen before I trust it to keep them in the paddock. I don't even trust the e-fence completely for the young ones, although, to date, they have not made any effort to escape. They've spent as much as several hours in it. I was going to let them stay in it overnight, last night, but I had to come back to town to take care of the dogs, because everyone else is off somewhere. I just didn't have the energy to drive all the way back out there, and anyway, I have to pick up the missus at the airport at 2:30 today.

Tomorrow will be a serious work day.

When are we going to see some PICS?

And vids of the gushing creek!

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on May 29, 2016, 11:07:14 AM
I took some of both, but don't have time to figure out how to get them up. I'll have to get help from one of the kids.

Still raining at the stead as of a couple of nights ago. I set up the tent. Seems in one of my late night hazes I had already ordered one and forgotten about it before I ordered the one I showed you. Now I am a two tent owner, LOL. The campsite is taking shape. Makes a nice place to rest when the sun gets too hot to keep working.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Baby Pix
Post by: Eddie on June 08, 2016, 08:47:25 AM
Belated pics of the Mangalitsa babies, taken right after I got them. I figured out what I was doing wrong on flickr. More to follow soon.

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/8/7688/27266523150_1446cd7ba0_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Hxs4o7)Version 2 (https://flic.kr/p/Hxs4o7) by etennison (https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/), on Flickr

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/8/7291/27543238935_c0afb4084b_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/HXUikV)Version 2 (https://flic.kr/p/HXUikV) by etennison (https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/), on Flickr

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/8/7793/27444386182_1bd24042ca_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/HPaDS7)Version 2 (https://flic.kr/p/HPaDS7) by etennison (https://www.flickr.com/photos/52157490@N04/), on Flickr

They are MUCH bigger now.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Farm Security
Post by: Eddie on June 12, 2016, 08:54:58 PM
A little while back RE mentioned something about setting up some video monitors on the stead. Now that I have a fairly substantial investment in the pigs, I'm leaning toward building some kind of video surveillance system. There are some problems.

Number one is the distances involved. Current tech allows wireless cameras that can be configured to an internet router. I don't have internet service out there, so that's the first step. So the cost will be somewhat high and ongoing, unless I want to hardwire cameras, which is also a pain. Most home systems won't transmit more than 150 ft or so, line-of-sight (less if there are walls and trees).

Second problem is power. Almost nobody makes a robust solar powered camera set-up. I did find a couple of decent cameras on eBay. The one I like best is this one.

(http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/Vi8AAOSwQSBXHT6b/s-l1600.jpg)

It uses a Yagi antenna to boost the wifi signal. It's supposed to be good for a mile, which will be plenty, if it works.

If you want to have a hard drive to store the videos when you don't have your computer on, you need an NVR (a high def video recorder), and a big hard drive, both of which, fortunately have gotten pretty cheap.

It looks like I might do okay with two of those solar powered cameras and a couple of grid powered ones in the areas where I have grid power. Looks like $1200 to $1500 plus the ongoing cost of the internet service. Not cheap, but I am in a spot where I'm worried about thieves.

There are some cameras that have 3G/4G modems onboard that can be viewed using a smart phone, but cell service out there is pretty spotty.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead --- Farm Security
Post by: RE on June 12, 2016, 10:40:18 PM
A little while back RE mentioned something about setting up some video monitors on the stead. Now that I have a fairly substantial investment in the pigs, I'm leaning toward building some kind of video surveillance system. There are some problems.

Number one is the distances involved. Current tech allows wireless cameras that can be configured to an internet router. I don't have internet service out there, so that's the first step. So the cost will be somewhat high and ongoing, unless I want to hardwire cameras, which is also a pain. Most home systems won't transmit more than 150 ft or so, line-of-sight (less if there are walls and trees).

Second problem is power. Almost nobody makes a robust solar powered camera set-up. I did find a couple of decent cameras on eBay. The one I like best is this one.

(http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/Vi8AAOSwQSBXHT6b/s-l1600.jpg)

It uses a Yagi antenna to boost the wifi signal. It's supposed to be good for a mile, which will be plenty, if it works.

If you want to have a hard drive to store the videos when you don't have your computer on, you need an NVR (a high def video recorder), and a big hard drive, both of which, fortunately have gotten pretty cheap.

It looks like I might do okay with two of those solar powered cameras and a couple of grid powered ones in the areas where I have grid power. Looks like $1200 to $1500 plus the ongoing cost of the internet service. Not cheap, but I am in a spot where I'm worried about thieves.

There are some cameras that have 3G/4G modems onboard that can be viewed using a smart phone, but cell service out there is pretty spotty.

While you're at it, I would suggest laying down some sensors under the roadbed into the stead.  Anyone coming in to steal pigs or anything else is going to come in with a pickup.  Then a camera hidden in one of those fake landscape rocks which will snap a picture of the license plate when the pickup rolls over the sensor.

This would not require an internet connection or a solar setup, simple battery operation.

Internet is good though to be able to check on the piggies from the office.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead - Farm Security
Post by: agelbert on June 13, 2016, 01:14:22 PM
Constitutionally Backed Texas Farm Security Device(http://www.pic4ever.com/images/cowboypistol.gif)
 
(http://media-cdn.timesfreepress.com/img/photos/2016/01/09/160110righttobeararms6338171637_t755_hf64cd267102df9e53374b6ddeee966ce3349be4d.jpg)

:icon_mrgreen:
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead - Farm Security
Post by: Eddie on June 13, 2016, 06:18:47 PM
Constitutionally Backed Texas Farm Security Device(http://www.pic4ever.com/images/cowboypistol.gif)
 
(http://media-cdn.timesfreepress.com/img/photos/2016/01/09/160110righttobeararms6338171637_t755_hf64cd267102df9e53374b6ddeee966ce3349be4d.jpg)

:icon_mrgreen:

 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on June 14, 2016, 06:37:01 AM
The first run of fence is finally nearing completion, more than a month later than I had planned. My new son-in-law found time yesterday to drive out with me and help me hang a 14 ft gate across the driveway, and hang the last two stretches of woven wire. Once that's fully fastened, I only have to hang three more strands of barbed wire across the top. It's looking pretty good, if I do say so myself. I have already dug the post holes for the entire pasture enclosure, so maybe the other three sides will go a little faster.

It's high summer here now, suddenly, after such a mild wet spring that has seemed like it would hang on forever. We worked in full sun in 95F heat (heat index of 106F). At those temps, it only takes half an hour and all your clothes are dripping wet with sweat, and frequent trips to the shade for water and cooling off are required to prevent heat stroke. As I know from bitter experience, that's something you don't want to happen.

The pigs are torpid with the heat and they've learned to enjoy a spray down with the hose when I drop by, and they have made a wallow in front of their automatic water trough. I am going to get a second, larger water reservoir in the form a small round steel tank, something that will hold a hundred gallons or so, for back-up. A failure of the water system this time of year would be fatal within a day or two. Pigs depend on mud to stay cool. Fortunately, my choice of sites was good, and they have plenty of shade.

I was having a serious problem with flies, but I found these cool fly traps that use powdered rotten eggs dissolved in water. Two of those hung near the feed and water has cut the population way down within a couple of days of installation. They are re-useable, although dumping them and cleaning them looks like an unpleasant job. Not sure how long they will last. I'd guess a week or two tops.

(http://www.starbarproducts.com/-/media/Images/Starbar-NA/US/Products/Fly-Terminator-PRO_400x500-png.png?h=300&thn=1&hash=52838F27AB57FC8DCA32037B092CEA965C5F1388)

The electric fence enclosure has not been breached so far. The paddock is getting bare, and I will have to take time off from fence building on Friday to move the paddock to fresh grass. I have enough poultry mesh to make it into a square roughly 50M on a side, which is twice as big as what I have set up now.

(https://www.premier1supplies.com/media/fence_cache/4951.160x160.jpg)

I run an additional white "hot rope" at nose level inside the poultry mesh. The pigs have not gotten past that, although they do occasionally test it. The only problem I've seen with the poultry mesh is that if it grounds out on something like a metal post that it sparks and eventually burns through on the hot spot. It's not a problem if you're  careful when setting it up.

I am still experimenting with feeds. GMO feed is about $15 bucks for a fifty pound bag. "Natural" feed (not certified organic, but non-GMO, non-soy) goes for $20, and the real organic feed is $35. Really far too expensive to use it exclusively, although the animals love it. I think I'll end up mixing the natural and organic. For now, I sometimes do feed the GMO stuff because it's the only thing available in most stores. I will get the cost down a little by buying bulk at a mill about fifty miles away, but I have to call ahead, make a special trip, etc, so not too convenient.

Hopefully, within a year or so I'll be growing something myself to supplement their diet. I need to try to source more free food. I know some local farmers with bigger operations that manage to get spent grain from some of the many craft breweries in this area, and surplus veggies from various farms. It's mostly a matter of finding a source and then being dependable as far as showing up regularly and taking the stuff on time.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on June 15, 2016, 07:04:30 PM
I am drinking a craft beer that my daughter and her ex-boyfriend brewed perhaps 18 months ago. Surely it hasn't been two whole years. They were quite into it briefly, and I admired their sterile technique in the kitchen...and enjoyed the fruits of their labor. They had recipe help from a really excellent hobby brewing store here, where they bought their ingredients in kit form, which I suppose really helped. They made some good beer, but lost interest eventually.

Anyway, several bottles were left in a storeroom until this week. The daughter is making room  in the house for her and her new BF to move in. She pulled out the beer and wanted me to sample it, because she's now leading a gluten free life. It was excellent.

Now I can't help thinking about her ex. We got pretty close, and I thought he was a great kid. He was too young for her. Had to move to the mountains in search of adventure. Climber type.

I hope he is doing well. I occasionally get some second hand report about what he posted on social media. He's had some ups and downs, I think.

Anyway, it's like, when this beer is gone, there will be one less thing to connect us.

The beer is good, though.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on June 15, 2016, 07:49:13 PM
I am drinking a craft beer that my daughter and her ex-boyfriend brewed perhaps 18 months ago. Surely it hasn't been two whole years. They were quite into it briefly, and I admired their sterile technique in the kitchen...and enjoyed the fruits of their labor. They had recipe help from a really excellent hobby brewing store here, where they bought their ingredients in kit form, which I suppose really helped. They made some good beer, but lost interest eventually.

Anyway, several bottles were left in a storeroom until this week. The daughter is making room  in the house for her and her new BF to move in. She pulled out the beer and wanted me to sample it, because she's now leading a gluten free life. It was excellent.

Now I can't help thinking about her ex. We got pretty close, and I thought he was a great kid. He was too young for her. Had to move to the mountains in search of adventure. Climber type.

I hope he is doing well. I occasionally get some second hand report about what he posted on social media. He's had some ups and downs, I think.

Anyway, it's like, when this beer is gone, there will be one less thing to connect us.

The beer is good, though.

Nostalgia for your daughter's ex-boyfriend.  That's a new one.  lol.

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on June 16, 2016, 06:09:32 AM
You take people in and make them a part of your family....why wouldn't you miss them when they move on?

I think you have to be a parent to appreciate this perspective.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on June 22, 2016, 05:50:48 AM
The heat is killing my vehicles.

First, the truck charging system failed as I was leaving the stead on Sunday night. I made it the fifty miles home on my dwindling battery, as my low beams got dimmer and dimmer. I figured I'd have to be towed, but I got lucky. I still have to charge the battery back up and try to get it to the shop, probably for a new alternator.

Now, this morning the battery check light came on in the Benz on the way to work. I dropped it off across the street from the office at the shop once owned by my patient and friend Herbie, who passed away a few years ago now. His chief mechanic is still there, is also my patient (and now his daughter too). I expect it's just a dead battery, or a dry battery. The trunk, where the battery lives, is full of pig feed and tools stuffed in there willy-nilly. I feel like the guy who had to go to the hospital without changing into clean underwear. Oh, well.


I worked my ass off over the weekend moving the pigs to a brand new paddock and installing a new, bigger water system, and I had to finish up without the truck, which was also crammed full of fence building tools, now stuffed into the boot of the car. Now the pigs are happy, and I'm back at work in the wonderful refrigerated air of the office. Unfortunately, this is also the time of year that our AC system usually has some issues, too. Waiting for the shoe to drop on that one.

If I get the truck into the shop tomorrow, maybe I can have it back for the weekend.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on July 16, 2016, 03:42:34 PM
My decision to take on raising the Mangalitsas has led me into a fascinating world that I don't yet know much about, which is the art of charcuterie.

Prepper Skill #12. Charcuterie.
Charcuterie is the craft of salting, smoking, and curing, though originally Charcuterie
was a craftsman art in creation of pork products such as salami, sausages, and
prosciutto. In modern definition, it's the art of salting, cooking, smoking, and drying
meats. A Prepper may learn to make sausages, terrines, and pâtés or even olive
and vegetable rillettes, duck confit, mortadella and soppressata or smoked
almonds!
paves the way towards learning the skill of Charcuterie.


http://www.happypreppers.com/skills.html (http://www.happypreppers.com/skills.html)

I can remember when my own parents moved "back to the land" in the early'60's, the very first fall we raised and killed a hog and processed the meat the traditional way, with the assistance of our elderly neighbors, who had the skill, the tools and the smokehouse. My recollection is that it was a lot of work, and pigs raised in later years went straight to the local butchers.

My brother, the hunter, has become proficient in making sausage from feral pigs, but my own experience is sadly lacking, and I'm looking for mentors. There  are two or three places here that teach this stuff, given the recent proliferation of farm-to-table enterprises.

I am also reading this book:

(http://www.happypreppers.com/sitebuilder/images/Curing-book-191x191.jpg)

https://www.amazon.com/Charcuterie-Salting-Smoking-Revised-Updated/dp/0393240053/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1468708259&sr=1-1&keywords=charcuterie+the+craft+of+salting+smoking+and+curing (https://www.amazon.com/Charcuterie-Salting-Smoking-Revised-Updated/dp/0393240053/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1468708259&sr=1-1&keywords=charcuterie+the+craft+of+salting+smoking+and+curing)

There are three basic ingredients besides meat. Kosher salt, sugar, and sodium nitrite. The latter has a bad rep from processed foods, but I'm given to understand that it's the amount of it that one uses that makes the difference between it being a useful substance and a way of poisoning your body.

I think I'm going to need to lay on more of these three staples. Fortunately they all store very well.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on July 16, 2016, 03:56:41 PM
You can watch videos on this stuff all day long. Lots of different styles.

http://www.youtube.com/v/fJ2i1IdKPvM&fs=1
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on July 16, 2016, 03:58:44 PM
Admin, why are comments locked on this thread? If I did it, it wasn't on purpose.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on July 16, 2016, 04:05:04 PM
My decision to take on raising the Mangalitsas has led me into a fascinating world that I don't yet know much about, which is the art of charcuterie.

The owner of Matanuska Meats gives classes in this stuff periodically.

Did you ever find out if you can shear the pigs for the wool?

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on July 16, 2016, 04:11:59 PM
They rubbed off the woolly locks when it got hot. I assume it will come back when the weather gets cool again. But right now their coats are short.

There isn't enough of it to harvest anyway, with just a few animals. Maybe if I had a few hundred.

I have not heard of anyone using the wool, though. As you might know, hair is usually removed from pigs before they're skinned, with scalding hot water and a scraper of some kind.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on July 20, 2016, 06:49:44 PM
Went to the stead after work and topped off the pig feeders and gave the pigs a shower with the hose, which they enjoyed. Discovered that wet pigs sometimes shake off like a dog, except they're muddier. Did a number on my clothes.

I saw a painted bunting on my way out, crossing the creek. That made me happy. It seems like the birds have not  been that plentiful lately. (This image is borrowed. I didn't have my camera with me)

(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTJpdIGAY224Cs9iOP1vw552sZoOEU2I6eEnLYy7dptxScabpOI)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on July 25, 2016, 02:15:13 PM
I treated patients in the OR this morning so I got done early and drove out to feed the pigs. As I was leaving, about 3 pm,  I saw four wild turkeys on my place. Also saw a doe and a fawn, but they are everywhere, so not unusual at all to see them....but the turkeys are more rare.

The creek is still running, barely, and the neighbor kids are still swimming in it...not sure how much longer. It's getting really dry again.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on July 25, 2016, 02:28:37 PM
Mangalitsas are either blond, or what is called "swallow-bellied" which is a variant that is black but has a blonde underside. I have one swallow-bellied girl, and I'm pretty is sure she's pregnant. She's beginning to show a lot.  The other one who was supposed to be already bred...I'm not so sure about her.

The gestation for pigs is 114 days. I've had the two breeding age gilts for just about 60 days. Too early to rule out pregnancy for the blond. Anyway, I'm pretty sure the little boar will be ready now if she does go into heat. No sign of that, so she's probably pregnant and just not as far along.

I have to find a pig-sitter. Headed to Chicago this coming weekend.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on July 25, 2016, 02:42:32 PM
I have to find a pig-sitter. Headed to Chicago this coming weekend.

Fly me down, I'll Pig-Sit for you.  Pretty expensive and energy wasteful pig-sitting though.  :icon_mrgreen:

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: JRM on July 25, 2016, 04:32:06 PM
I have to find a pig-sitter. Headed to Chicago this coming weekend.

Fly me down, I'll Pig-Sit for you.  Pretty expensive and energy wasteful pig-sitting though.  :icon_mrgreen:

RE

Energy pig? 

Well, there is friendship.  And we're all energy pigs now, aren't we?
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: JRM on July 26, 2016, 06:59:47 AM

I saw a painted bunting on my way out, crossing the creek. That made me happy. It seems like the birds have not  been that plentiful lately. (This image is borrowed. I didn't have my camera with me)

(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTJpdIGAY224Cs9iOP1vw552sZoOEU2I6eEnLYy7dptxScabpOI)

What a magnificent bird!  I've never seen one.  Very beautiful.  Aptly named.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on August 19, 2016, 01:01:58 PM
We lost Stubbs today, adventurer daughter's old blue heeler, who was  getting up in years and has been suffering from some kind of slow cancer for a while.

He wasn't in pain until this morning, but a trip to the vet confirmed the bad news that he was dying. She made the difficult decision him put to sleep, because he was getting weak and starting to suffer.

I usually fed him in the morning, but I left very early today and never thought anything about him not coming downstairs, since he was sleeping up in my daughter's room. I'm sorry I didn't get to say goodbye. I loved that dog. He was so smart. Heelers are like that, but I doubt we'll ever find another to match Stubbs.

There is a photo somewhere one of the kids took of me and him asleep on the couch. It got put on somebody's FB, with the caption "Old Dogs".  I will always remember that.

I am grieving today, for the loss of a fine companion, even though he wasn't my dog, strictly speaking. I will miss him.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on August 19, 2016, 02:29:19 PM
We lost Stubbs today, adventurer daughter's old blue heeler, who was  getting up in years and has been suffering from some kind of slow cancer for a while.

He wasn't in pain until this morning, but a trip to the vet confirmed the bad news that he was dying. She made the difficult decision him put to sleep, because he was getting weak and starting to suffer.

I usually fed him in the morning, but I left very early today and never thought anything about him not coming downstairs, since he was sleeping up in my daughter's room. I'm sorry I didn't get to say goodbye. I loved that dog. He was so smart. Heelers are like that, but I doubt we'll ever find another to match Stubbs.

There is a photo somewhere one of the kids took of me and him asleep on the couch. It got put on somebody's FB, with the caption "Old Dogs".  I will always remember that.

I am grieving today, for the loss of a fine companion, even though he wasn't my dog, strictly speaking. I will miss him.

R.I.P. Stubbs
(http://petus.imageg.net/PETNA_36/pimg/pPETNA-5170156_main_enh.jpg)

See you on the Other Side.

http://www.youtube.com/v/-9yYJ6ZAYns

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on August 30, 2016, 02:00:35 PM
(https://scontent-dft4-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/397008_10151349558676287_374964162_n.jpg?oh=e38bfc4f1748aca69d18556b44bd81a5&oe=5853B4EA)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on August 30, 2016, 06:30:43 PM
(https://scontent-dft4-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/397008_10151349558676287_374964162_n.jpg?oh=e38bfc4f1748aca69d18556b44bd81a5&oe=5853B4EA)

You figured out how to put up pics!  :icon_sunny:

Now we need some pics of the piggies and of the stream running fast!

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: GypsyMama on September 02, 2016, 02:32:07 PM
When we sell our Rock Hill land (*sigh*...yes, we are still at it), I'd like to plan a visit to come back out to the toothstead.  That place will always hold a special place in my heart <3  Thank you for sharing it with us, so long ago, Eddie!  I sure would like to meet the pigs and see what you've done with the place.  Is the dragon Aaron made under the house still there?  How about the clover hugel mound with Aaron's wedding ring in it? LOL?

I can't wait to see you guys again! :)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on September 02, 2016, 04:04:14 PM
I was letting the place go to seed again until I got the animals. That forces me to do some work on my goals, which is a good thing. I miss you guys too. I lined the grey water sump LD dug with gravel and rocks from the creek, and the hugelculture bed has been allowed to just sit, although that alone is progress, since the wood inside continues to break down.

Mostly I've been building fences and gates and electric fences. I have got the proper plastic to re-roof the greenhouse, and hope to get that done soon too. I'm also really getting serious about really building a house out there, finally. If I can swing it, I'll probably get Monolithic to come down and build a 40 ft dome.

Nice wet year here. The creek has been beautiful through the whole summer, and is still running well even now. You guys are always welcome.

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on September 02, 2016, 04:15:31 PM
I think I may have baby pigs in a week or less. One of the two older gilts I bought looks very pregnant, although I have no way to know for sure. The other, not so much.  I  have had them for about a hundred days, and the gestation period for pigs is 114 days.

My boar, who is very young still in terms of being ready to be a father, is a real fatty. I hope he can perform his duties. I need to get them all DNA tested to make sure they are really from different bloodlines. There is no real US registry or papers for Mangalitsas yet. And when there is, it's likely that herds like mine will not qualify, because the whole registry process is being controlled by the big players, mostly in Europe.

Not a big deal to me, really. The pigs are fine animals, and easier to deal with than just about anything I ever raised (with my folks) when I was a kid on the farm.
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: GypsyMama on September 02, 2016, 04:29:33 PM
I was letting the place go to seed again until I got the animals. That forces me to do some work on my goals, which is a good thing. I miss you guys too. I lined the grey water sump LD dug with gravel and rocks from the creek, and the hugelculture bed has been allowed to just sit, although that alone is progress, since the wood inside continues to break down.

Mostly I've been building fences and gates and electric fences. I have got the proper plastic to re-roof the greenhouse, and hope to get that done soon too. I'm also really getting serious about really building a house out there, finally. If I can swing it, I'll probably get Monolithic to come down and build a 40 ft dome.

Nice wet year here. The creek has been beautiful through the whole summer, and is still running well even now. You guys are always welcome.

It sounds heavenly <3  We'll meet again at the toothstead again someday.  I got a nice visual of the creek.  Ahhh... such a nice piece of land you have out there.  You really scored!
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on September 02, 2016, 04:30:37 PM
If I can swing it, I'll probably get Monolithic to come down and build a 40 ft dome.

My first main project for the Park is the SUN☼ Signature building, which will serve as a community center, headquarters office, teaching center and emergency shelter.  My design is for a 50-60' Monolithic for this building.  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on September 02, 2016, 04:41:59 PM
I keep considering alternatives, and I always come back to the dome. David South is a genius. I'm so glad we got to study under him while he was still alive.

(He is STILL alive and well. After I re-read that it sounded like I was wishing him bad luck.)

Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: Eddie on September 02, 2016, 05:54:14 PM
Recent pics of me feeding dirty pigs, stolen from somebody else's FB.

(https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/13658977_10103986126013607_8629115905745721407_n.jpg?oh=9625fc54b1405387f3e3a1a6d6b2030b&oe=583F2642)
Title: Re: Meanwhile back at the 'stead
Post by: RE on September 02,