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Messages - Farmer McGregor

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Money: The ROOT of all EVIL  :evil4:

Can't leave this one alone, RE.
The great one you are (mis)quoting actually said that the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.
Money is just a medium of exchange, neutral and physically innocuous.
It's the damn greedy humans that screw it all up.  That's why he said what he did.

Money: The ROOT of all EVIL  :evil4:

Can't leave this one alone, RE.
The great one you are (mis)quoting actually said that the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.
Money is just a medium of exchange, neutral and physically innocuous.
It's the damn greedy humans that screw it all up.  That's why he said it the way he did.

I like this from JDWheeler:
3.  Do not use more energy over the course of a year than can be collected during the year.
Not to be interpreted too strictly; for example, if you have a four-year coppice wood rotation, then you only collect 4-year-old stems, never dip into the 3-year-old ones.

As a corollary to this, or perhaps an Ordnung rule in itself: No resource or potential resource shall be allowed to go to waste, but where possible shall be used to fullest potential.  For example, anything edible by man, beast or bug shall be fed to the appropriate entity or as a last resort shall be composted.  Additionally, all bodily wastes from said men or beasts shall be composted or otherwise used to maximize soil fertility.

I suggest this as a possible corollary to JDW's #3 above since this is very much an energy issue.  All foods are "food" precisely because they embody the solar energy that was used to produce them (through plant photosynthesis, whether that food be a plant product, or the product of an animal that ate plants or ate other creatures that ate plants, and so on).  All foods starts with plants, including phytoplankton and algae, the base of the ocean food chain, and grasses, which are a critical part of the food chain for us beef and cheese eaters.

That embodied solar energy persists through many generations of eaters as our wastes (as well as our ultimately dead bodies), and those of our livestock, are happily consumed by various critters, insects, worms, bacteria and fungi, etc. (each harvesting what energy it can by further breaking down the complex carbohydrates produced during photosynthesis) until the last carbon bonds are broken and all that remains are the humic substances that enrich the soil to produce new plants. lt is entirely an energy economy.  Solar energy, that is.

It is foolish for us to not utilize every available bit of that energy as best we can, ultimately putting what remains back into the soil to be cycled back to us again by the action of water and sunlight.


Collapse Narratives / Re: N is for Not Sci-Fi but Pi-Fi
« on: April 04, 2017, 10:31:49 AM »
Sadly though, I get few comments either here on the forum or on the blog on the HISC novel. :(
Aw jeez, RE, did you have to go and say that?
Consider the possibility that the novel is way more SF than PI, with folks zipping around on their expensive solar-charged electric vehicles...  Even the street thugs are computer wizards!  If it's going to be an instructive story, it needs to be painfully realistic or it losses credibility.

Call it Pre-PI-Fi.

At some point somebody brought up the 'first person' narrative problem.  It's still a problem.  The reader has to want to be in that character's head in order to enjoy reading it.

It's easy to write the words "usual routine of collecting chicken eggs, milking the goats and watering his raised beds" as if that's just a few minute's chores.  Those of us actually doing these things find such glibness offensive, knowing that it takes several people working full time -- meaning as long as there's daylight -- to manage a large garden, tend livestock, plant, nurture, irrigate, harvest, cut/thresh/winnow, kill/butcher, clean/process/prep for storage, and safely pack away a winter's supply of food for those same people.  And that's in a hospitable climate under favorable conditions, not on a north-country mountainside.  Long hours of ass-busting work day after day tend to make you pissy when others naively assume that living off the land is a breeze.

Also, when you live on raw, fresh ingredients instead of commercial pre-prepared food, somebody(s) spends several hours a day in the kitchen.  Ever made hard cheese or kimchi or salami or pemmican, or baked bread from whole grain every day or two, let alone just making sure there's a pot of stew constantly simmering?

A reminder of something said once upon a time regarding HISC:
I have friends, fellow diner lurkers, with whom this is now a favorite topic of conversation.
Well, maybe you should be privy to some of that conversation, especially the parts that may help explain the apparent lack of interest (which unfortunately are critical in nature).

"What the hell!  This guy eats all this great home-grown food, like goat cheese and fresh veggies -- Who's doing all the work to produce this stuff along with milking and tending livestock while he's spending the day at the 'spa' horking down industrial steak?"

"How often do you suppose he ships in the hay for those horses and goats since you sure as hell can't graze goats in the Montana Rockies?  And forget about any kind of serious crop production in that region, so what's he livin' on during the winter, poached deer and pine bark?"  (Euell Gibbons, where are you when we need you?)

"...wealthy dude with a fancy earth home and cool toys.  Whoopee.  Must be nice to be rich.  How long before anybody finds his desiccated body cuz he starved to death after an arctic-vortex ten-foot snow event, and he couldn't get to any of his dead goats to eat them -- if he'd had a brain he woulda brought'em indoors with him like folks have always done."

"...lost interest when the whole sex and penis reference things started up -- "beast with two backs" -- kinda grosses me he planning a threesome for Kenny and his little harem?"

"...not really much valuable or practical prepper info, just a lot of bragging about expensive high-tech gadgets..."

And finally (brace yourself):
"The story seems to have devolved into some lonely old pervert's quasi-utopian wet dream fantasy."

Sorry man, life sucks.
BTW, accessing the story thread in sequence does not seem possible.  Make the chapters accessible as a group somehow, perhaps?

Cheers anyway,

Doomsteading / Re: Living Off the Land is Illegal
« on: March 21, 2017, 12:39:04 PM »
The only thing that stands a chance of working is a community size project where you have all the main crafts being done, blacksmithing, tanning leather, spinning & weaving cloth, pottery, basket weaving, shoemaking etc etc etc.  That's the nature of the SUN☼Project.

The only way you can do this is with a community of minimum I would say 100 people, and then each of them has to bone up on a couple of different areas of craftsmanship starting yesterday. Most of these crafts take years to get really good at.

You're only as strong as the weakest link in the chain.  Once you realize that the collapse of industrial civilization means that all those products you buy at Home Depot, Walmart etc won't be available, you have to be able to produce a facsimile of them yourself.  It's not just about growing food, and most people including farmers couldn't do that if they couldn't buy commercial seed every year.

Individual Doomsteading is basically a fantasy insofar as being sustainable for any great length of time.  At best, it will keep you alive a few more years than the population at large.  That's better than than nothing, but I think we can do better than that.  Only by working together though.

Had to sign in just to give this one a hearty Amen!

The rugged individualists may last a while through a steep decline, but they certainly will not thrive over the long haul.


SUN ☼ / Re: Self-Sufficiency: Can it be achieved in time?
« on: March 08, 2017, 06:49:52 PM »
Bill (Mollison) asserts that if just 10%of the people of the world undertook this form of self-sufficiency, we could feed the world.

My first question here for this thread is whether this is really true?  Could 10% of the population feed everyone else, all 7.3B people currently walking the earth?

This statement, supposedly from BM, sounds taken out of context, or else it's just more of the Permacultist (no I did not misspell that) fantasy; "Permaculture can save the world!"  And pigs can fly.  Well, there's always Eddie's piggies and a trebuchet... ;)

Too many variables go unstated here: on which part of the planet are we going to build this Permaculture Paradise?  Where the populations reside, or in the prime equatorial rain forests with year-round growing and plenty of water?  How will this food be distributed because we know that the population, especially here in the USA, doesn't necessarily live where the food can be grown, especially since we paved over the best of it!

It's a bogus proposal, a fantasy.
I'd love to elaborate to discuss the positive sides of making the effort; things we can and should and are doing that will make a big difference in the future, but I just can't take the time -- I need to go work on the doing of those things.  It's too large of a topic.  Cheers! 

Frostbite Falls Newz / Re: Lifetime of a Modeler
« on: March 08, 2017, 09:39:09 AM »
Here's a Trebuchet launching a Car, a Piano and an Incendiary Drum.  :icon_sunny:
That's not a piano, it's a pump organ.
Look at the pedals and keyboard.

Doomsteading / Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« on: March 06, 2017, 11:58:19 AM » alternators work both ways.  One way they crank the engine, the other way the engine cranks them and they recharge the battery.

au contraire, mon frère! :D
Automotive alternators play absolutely no roll in turning the engine; they are strictly a motion input, not output, device.  And they don't motor worth a shit because of the way the field windings are constructed.  Horsepower output is very poor and they heat up quickly.  They do, however, make small motor/generators that are used on things like riding lawnmowers -- dual purpose devices that work as you describe.

As for "working okay for the sailors", yes, they can trickle charge their batteries this way.  Great dual purpose use for a trolling motor that you have on board anyway.

Doomsteading / Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« on: March 06, 2017, 11:33:07 AM »
One of the marvelous things about electric motors is they work both ways.  If you put electricity in, the motor turns.  The other way, if you turn the motor, electricity comes out.
Yes, it is generally true that 'motors generate and generators motor'.  Not 100% always, though; depends on the design of the device.  But neither of them does a very good job when used this way unless they were designed to do so; efficiency goes down.  Ever tried to make an automotive alternator work as a motor, or a starter motor serve as a generator?  You might get some action, but not worth a shit in the long run.

Better to use generators, actually alternators, that are intended for the purpose.  Why go to all the trouble to channel water into a low efficiency device that will probably wear out prematurely from being improperly operated?  Or that can't take an occasional soaking.

Stick to your guns, Eddie.  Those devices you're proposing look like the cat's meow.

Doomsteading / Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« on: March 06, 2017, 10:50:43 AM »
You must not have read the stuff I posted about the low flow turbines I was looking at. They sit at water level and use a drop pipe. It's a completely different design from a typical microhydro turbine. No Pelton wheel.  This renders most of Gregs' last comment moot, I think.
You are correct, I hadn't caught that.
What I remembered (somewhat incorrectly, as it turns out) was this:

My recollection of it was as a flume through the middle of a dam, not as a flume apart from the dam fed by a pipe.
This does change everything.  All you need is a modified portion of the spillway to direct some flow to your turbine(s) which could actually be somewhat remote from the dam itself.

Cool stuff.  Sorry I wasted our time.

Doomsteading / Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« on: March 06, 2017, 10:04:12 AM »
I am ready to be hammered with the usual Diner Negative Waves on this.  --RE
Brace yourself, RE, here it comes: You make a lot of really valid points.
That said, I have a few comments to add...  ;)

Good points.

I expect the water diversion issue will be a non issue at some point, we'll have a seriously dry late summer and fall that will dry the creek to a trickle that won't interfere much.

I think it's better to build a dam that's low and strong and bulletproof that it is to get fancy and install a gate, which really won't do much in full flood anyway. It isn't unusual to have full size live trees get washed out of the banks of my creek and swept away in a flood. I've seen it. No gate will hold up to that.

The dams I've seen that last are just long, low, straight check-dams.
Except that...  Don't you need a formed concrete flow channel thru the dam in which to install your turbine system?  That channel, if its depth extends to the bottom of the creek's flow line (presumably you want to utilize the flow at the lowest possible elevation in order to maximize head pressure), can serve as the 'drain-the-whole-reservoir' outlet if needed for maintenance or restoration work.  It needs a gate of some sort so that you could close off flow in case of trouble with the turbines.  All it takes is a pair of vertical grooves formed into the concrete (better if lined with iron because its very straight and provides a better seal surface than concrete) into which you can drop a flat panel like a sheet of plywood to close off the flow.  Irrigation headgates are done this way, usually with a permanent operating mechanism (not necessary in your case?) that allows the gate to be held at a precise level to meter the flow through it.  I use these on my ditches (slots formed in concrete that I can shove a board into).

I wish I could estimate the flow through there right now. I'd like to know, but the turbine people talk about filling up buckets, which is not going to work. When you don't have a lot of head, flow becomes crucially important for power generation.

A few points.

1- A long, low dam will not provide enough pressure to efficiently run turbines.  You need either decent depth or fast flow rate, or both.  A long low check dam is not going to do this job.
Unless some portion of the dam is a well constructed reinforced concrete channel that extends to the bottom of the flow line, and is gated on the upstream side to control flow through it (any excess flow goes over the spillway).  That flow channel houses the turbine system, and serves as a full-release valve for draining the reservoir.  The rest of the dam can be the long, low, massive earthen check dam variety, which if properly constructed could withstand the once-in-a-blue-moon overtopping event.  Of course, a section of this needs to be a spillway that can withstand constant overflow.  The overall height of the dam cannot exceed that of the surrounding terrain or you'll invite all kinds of trouble in a high water situation.

2-  The main purpose of the gate is not to release a lot of water at times of high water, that is the job of the spillway.  The job of the gate is to release water at times of low water/drought, so it makes its way downstream.  So it doesn't need to be very big. If you are building the dam out of concrete, you just set the gate in at the lowest point under the dam.  It's not vulnerable to trees or other debris floating down in a flood, because it is at the bottom of the dam.

Easier alternative to this is just to run a pipe under the dam with a valve you can open and close, but it will need to be kept clear of sediment at both ends so it doesn't block up.  You would want to use a fairly large diameter sewer pipe for this purpose.  6-12" or so I would estimate.
Definitely not a big fan here, as these can have a problem with clogging from sedimentation unless they are regularly flushed.  Also they are a construction hassle, requiring special care to prevent them from becoming a leakage pathway.  Eddie's dam is too shallow to bother with such.

3-  I have another Rube Goldberg solution I am working on, but it will take a day or two to get some schematics done and research the type of hardware to use.  I won't let on to what this is until I have it reasonably bulletproof and can't get hammered from the first post.  LOL.
Bring it, Rube.

Doomsteading / Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« on: March 05, 2017, 09:14:00 PM »
Another shot of Gene's Hole.
Nice puddle!
I love puddles.
Water is so awesome and precious.
It's greening up there. Nice.

Doomsteading / Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« on: March 05, 2017, 09:09:10 PM »
Very muddy Mangalitsas.
Happy as pigs in slop!

Doomsteading / Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« on: March 05, 2017, 06:23:44 PM »
In consideration of that maintenance issue, you probably should incorporate the means to open it up to full flow during the dry season in case you need it.  Another problem to consider.
I already suggested installing a sliding vertical gate.  :icon_sunny:
That's exactly what I had in mind.  It will leak a little, but if properly constructed it would be minimal.  Our irrigation supply canals use them to open into feeder ditches or laterals, like my own.  There is very little leakage through my head gate when it's closed, and it's a many decades old piece of junk.  The static hydraulic pressure against the flat gate panel effectively presses it against the frame for a good seal.

Doomsteading / Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« on: March 05, 2017, 06:00:52 PM »
Eddie you will cause minor environmental changes. A deeper body of water will maintain a lower temperature which might impact the ecosystem of the creek. Next comes by slowing the water down you will cause the sediment load to deposit that will also cause minor changes to the food supply down stream. Then there is the increase of the surface layer due to the reservoir which allows for more local evaporation you get a slightly higher humidity micro climate by leaving less water downstream.  I dont think it matters in the grand scheme of things but not totally benign either. We cannot touch a creek here but as you say water law is very different. 
Best regards, David Baillie

If you saw what people do to creeks here, you'd understand why I think my plan is pretty benign. I understand that there would be effects, I just consider them extremely negligible. It's a matter of scale.
David is right, of course.
BUT...  Here in Colorado they are struggling to get the beaver population back since they've found that as a general rule, when you slow down and impound water, the net effect is positive for a whole host of reasons.  I suspect that, assuming you accomplish this thing, you will really enjoy what nature does with the micro-environment that it will create.  Your other swimming hole, is the area surrounding it more verdant and pleasant than the dryer creekside areas?  More biodiversity?

He mentions one of the ongoing maintenance jobs you'll be faced with: de-sedimentation.  My brother had to totally drain and re-excavate his pond a few years back because it had filled nearly full with sediment.  (It didn't help that an upstream neighbor had failed to maintain his earthen dam and it had washed out a couple times.)  He was able tell sell a lot of the excavated material because it made fantastic topsoil.  To do the work he restored a 1950's vintage cable-hoist dragline which I got to operate.  What a beast!   The thing would only have been cooler if it had been steam powered rather than gas.

In consideration of that maintenance issue, you probably should incorporate the means to open it up to full flow during the dry season in case you need it.  Another problem to consider.

Doomsteading / Re: Bamboo House
« on: March 05, 2017, 11:38:36 AM »
***SG question, did I use that semicolon correctly? 
No. Should have been a colon.

It's already fuckin' nutzo out there in the Matrix.  People are crazy, the shit they believe astounds me, and there they all for groceries and whatever else tickles their fancy.
Boy, ain't that the truth!
I have estimated that at least half -- more like 70 or 80 percent -- of the people that frequent our store are on the spectrum of 'out-of-touch all the way to fully psychotic'.  Smart people even, not just the low IQ folks; in fact, some of the dumber ones are the most in touch with reality probably because they have to be to survive.  The middle class types can afford to live in their twisted personal delusions because they don't suffer, and suffering forces us to see life differently.

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