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Topics - Jb

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Economics / Big Banks 'Big Bang'
« on: June 10, 2012, 06:15:38 PM »


Facinating stuff!

The Ten Most Puzzling Ancient Artifacts

Doomsteading / Rattlesnake Ridge
« on: April 30, 2012, 06:50:20 AM »
The latest sad story of someone who thought 'survival' meant killing everyone, including himself.


The Kitchen Sink / NSA Whistleblower
« on: April 20, 2012, 05:48:36 PM »
Worried about the NSA and FBI reading everything you write?

You should be.

Economics / Sinclair on KWN
« on: April 19, 2012, 06:36:13 PM »
Anyone else listen to this interview?

Sinclair says $17 T in new QE is on da way!


The Kitchen Sink / Greek Cops for Hire
« on: April 10, 2012, 06:44:01 AM »

Geopolitics / Lt. Col. Eggen's Thesis
« on: April 04, 2012, 07:06:52 AM »
Swiss Armed Forces Lt. Col. Pascal Eggen wrote a thesis on the effects of peak oil. I've just started reading it; the quotes pulled out in the review by Rick Munroe are chilling.

Link to review posted at EB:

Link to the thesis:

Conspiracy / Sibel Edmonds
« on: March 17, 2012, 07:58:01 AM »
I learned about Sibel Edmonds while watching The Crisis of Civilization.  Anyone else familar with her story?

Doomsteading / Making Wine and Beer
« on: March 13, 2012, 08:06:11 AM »
Back in September of 2010 when work was really slow, I asked my neighbor - a prominent local vintner, if he was hiring. 2010 was a great year for the local vineyards. The dry summer produced a beautiful harvest and all the local vineyards rushed to get their harvest in at the same time before wet weather arrived.

He knew the vintner at Virginia Wineworks, a local 'custom crush' operation and they were hiring. One phone call and I started the next day. I worked for 9 weeks making wine from other peoples grapes. It was absolutely back breaking work, constantly wet, climbing up and down racks of barrels or stainless steel tanks, fruit flies in your ears, mouth and nose.... It was quite a challenge for a guy in his 40's with a bad back and the pay was meager ($12/hr).  Most of the employees were half my age, working whatever jobs they could get to pay off their college loans. Because of the hectic schedule they sometimes worked through the night and slept in their cars. Anyway, it was a great experience.

I took the job for a second reason. John Michael Greer, who writes the Archdruid Report has said several times over the years that knowing how to brew beer or make wine is a great skill for the next economy. This was too good an opportunity for me to turn down. (The employee discount on the wine wasn't too bad either!)

What I learned is that Virginia is a suitable location for growing grapes, but not the best. A late frost can kill the budding fruit and wipe out your season. To combat this, the big wineries use propane heaters, helicopters and small wind turbines to create heat and stir up the air. They rely on very cheap labor throughout the spring and summer to prune and harvest. Fertilizers and pesticides are required.

The grapes are hauled in on trucks or rented box vans. The de-stemming and bottling machines are critical. The giant spinning press is from Germany. They had to rent semi-trucks with refrigerated units to keep the grapes cold until they were ready to be pressed. Fuel was stored on a pickup truck and pumped by hand into the diesel truck tanks. Glass bottles came from Mexico, oak barrels from France, yeast from France and Germany, sterilizing chemicals, sulfur, huge stainless steel tanks and hoses, portable pumps, and lots and lots of potable water.

Anyway, you see where I'm going with this.

On a commercial scale, this enterprise is doomed (there I said it!) in a peak oil scenario. But the principles behind wine making could be replicated on a smaller scale using locally sourced materials. Has anyone else out there made wine at home or on your farm before? What were the challenges? How successful were you?

My next post in this thread will be about brewing beer, so stay tuned.

Here are some images from Virginia Wineworks facility just south of Charlottesville, VA. that I took during my time there.

Doomsteading / Garden Update
« on: March 01, 2012, 07:17:57 AM »
Well, my cheap little hoop garden survived the mild winter. I had a few surprises though. The lettuce planted in the ground inside the hoop that I also covered in plastic jugs, died. I caught a few slugs hiding in there, but I don't think that's what killed them. The collards look like they are going to bloom.

The carrots and the lettuce I had planted in containers and one Bibb planted directly in the soil did just fine. They were pretty much dormant, but they look great.

The onions and garlic I planted last fall also look great. I didn't even put straw over them. Anyone else have plants winter over? Starting seeds? I'm trying peanuts this year as an experiment.

The Kitchen Sink / Header Graphic
« on: February 24, 2012, 09:14:21 AM »
Whoever did the header graphic of the old diner gets a round of applause from me. Great job; it's terrific!  :)

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