Dunno what mail host our sadly-ejected member uses, but If Permies is sending from an account that GMail doesn't like, those will sometimes bounce (it's not consistent). GMail wants an SPF for the sending domain. (Which means nothing to me but does mean something to your domain host.)
I was a SCAdian practically back in Medieval times... I'm the reason Montana became part of West instead of Middle (at the time I was the one and only member in the entire several-state region, and MT was assigned to Middle, and I said, uh, 2000 miles is farther than 1000 miles...) Yes, at the time my nearest groups were Chicago and Sacramento, and there were far fewer kingdoms (this was even before Caid). My goodness, it sure has grown since then. Still no group local to me, tho I was a bit croggled to see one in... Shelby??!
In the wild, I've seen mass quantities of adult ladybugs chowing down on apples (well, now I know what's making the scooped-out pits in some of my apples). So I'd just give them an apple cut in half and let them go to it.
Don't recall if I mentioned this before, but for cracking heels -- I use 150 grit sandpaper. It will take off cracky callus without harming live skin (unless you get carried away), leaves a smooth surface, and is quick. Just take it down far enough that the edges of any cracks are smooth, and if you're going to be out in the wet, or they still feel dry, vaseline works great.
When I saw (haha) this thread my brain immediately invented a device that's basically a bicycle-cranked chainsaw. Seems to me this could be made starting with the working end of a regular chainsaw and, yes, an old bicycle's pedal-guts for something that could be run by hand, no power or fuel required. Would be slower than the real thing but maybe it would work pretty well?
r ranson wrote:It looks like this is about as small a unit as I can get. I put a price watch on camelcamelcamel and I can see that right now it's about as expensive as it gets.
Ouch. I pay about $100 at Costco for a 1200VA CyberPower unit. I have three in service at the moment. (Supporting a total of 8 desktop PCs, 3 monitors, 5 sets of speakers, one modem, 2 network switches, 2 KVMs, 3 USB hubs, two external HDs, a phone, and the occasional laptop. About half of this stuff runs all the time.)
I've had APC (in fact I was an APC rep in days of yore), Tripp-Lite, and CyberPower. Have not observed any great difference between 'em.
A UPS in the 1000 VA range will more than suffice. (I don't like the smaller ones because they're not as well made, but they are a lot cheaper. None of them last more than about two years anymore, because they overcharge the battery.)
Most of the time even a loaded tower PC doesn't draw anywhere near that much; 700W is startup draw only, not continuous draw (Actually, it's probably the max capacity of the power supply, but the PC is not using more than a fraction of it.). I have 2 to 5 PCs attached to each of mine, and the only thing is -- don't turn them on all at the same time, and don't run 'em full bore all at the same time either (I could, but I don't).
Just checked my UPS with the two highest-draw systems on it, and they are using a combined 162W, and it has 27 minutes of charge if both are running. (One is a midrange i7 with 64GB RAM and five hard drives.)
The main reason for more capacity is more time to do a graceful shutdown, or to get past small outages if you have a lot of short ones. They're also useful for night lights and keeping stuff like the router/modem from getting whacked by power jumps.
Yeah, you can build your own from a wheelchair battery (my first UPS ran on one of those) but by the time you have all the needful power protection you've spent quite a lot more than a prefab even with today's short battery lifespans (the batteries are replaceable, but you don't save much).
The biggest benefit is that your PC's electronics don't get stressed near as much by power fluctuations, and will last a lot longer. I would never plug a PC into the bare wall if I could avoid it.
Note: the surge protection part works even if the battery is dead.
Note 2: NEVER EVER NOT EVER plug a surge protector into a UPS, unless you WANT to start a fire. (Surge gets bounced back and forth between 'em until it melts the cord....)
Note 3: Don't run a laser printer off a UPS; the startup draw for the fuser is too high.
Dog got water bucket full of gross. So I dump and replace it with fresh water, and was given this horrified look: "What did you do that for? I'd just got it to where it tastes good!" Dog then proceeded to very deliberately flop feet in water until it was gross again, then drank from it.
Chickens are probably wired to seek sources of dissolved minerals (eggshells needing that) and naturally muddy water has a lot more dissolved goodies than does clean water.
Brody Ekberg wrote:
Good to know! She does get along well with my sisters female herding dog but thats the only dog she has much play experience with
Occasional play is not the same as living in the same space. Dogs that play together now and then might fight to the death if they have to share space full time. And most socially-adult dogs don't actually like other adult dogs much and wish they'd just stay out of their face. (Dog parks only "work" because nearly all were juvenile neuters, therefore are still socially puppies with the puppy desire to suck up to adults.)
Also, it depends on the dominance dynamic. A female that fights with other females is a beta, and while betas will get along with an alpha female (because the alpha is inherently the boss, and therefore never fights, tho may rarely exert discipline on a miscreant), betas will attack lower-ranked betas or "nobodies" just for breathing. This social rank is born, not made; you can't "fix" it, and it can't be reliably predicted in puppies. And if it comes to a fight, the higher-ranked dog always wins.
All normal [intact] males are inherently alpha over all normal females, so even an aggressive female normally will not fight with a male.
So... from what you've said here, you don't want another female dog in your household, but a male should be fine.
Brody Ekberg wrote:Our current dog is friendly for the most part but shes a female and more emotional than I ever knew an animal could be. Shes like a 14 year old human girl and sometimes doesn’t play nice with other females.
[professional dog trainer here]
In that case, a second dog should be an intact male (neutered males are socially female, especially when cut as juveniles), or at least intact long enough to be a confirmed leg-lifter (and socially an adult male). Females very often do not get along with other females (and unlike males, females fight to kill), but will nearly always behave when a male is added to the mix.
One other thing about cats and kittens -- most of them don't come knowing how to hunt. They have instincts, but they don't have methods or targets. Mama teaches them what to hunt. So seems to me you could teach targets with a hungry kitten and freshly-dead mice, to show 'em what's tasty. When they're hungry they go nuts for the smell of mice.
And cats can learn targets. I had a young feral (the size of a pony, he couldn't get through the cat door into their warm space) that had surprised a gopher -- I heard this horrible shrieking and went out to look, and here's the cat tentatively poking a paw at a gopher that's sitting up screaming bloody murder at the cat. So I got a stick, smacked the gopher on the head, and threw it up on the barn roof for the crows to eat.
Bit later heard the same racket again. Got a stick and headed out to bean a gopher, and there's the cat trying to get brave enough to overcome the horrible noisemaker. Cat saw me coming with the stick, decided he wasn't being robbed again, grabbed the gopher and ran away with it.
And after that he did nothing but hunt gophers ALL DAY LONG, and completely exterminated them (and we'd had a lot!) everywhere within a half-mile radius of my house.
Brody Ekberg wrote:Im not even sure what you’re talking about. Are those the things that make extremely high pitched noises when they sense movement nearby? I can’t stand those things. Makes my head feel like its going to pop.
The gopher stakes we used in the desert don't make any noise. They're about 18 inches long and you drive them most of the way into the ground (up to the battery compartment... maybe they come in solar now). They have a mechanical thumper that goes off at irregular intervals to simulate predator footsteps. We were rather surprised that they worked, since the footsteps of two people and multiple dogs had no effect. But apparently it's different when the impact happens below ground, because pretty quick we didn't have any gophers.
Julie Granzin wrote:Have you tried those sonic repellant stakes? I'm like you, I don't want a cat. Yeah they cute and all that but I'm good🤣 The gophers were pulling plants down into their holes right in front of me! We got a 8 pack off Amazon and no more problems! We were already flooding their new holes in an attempt to keep them away also.
We used the battery-powered thumpers in the SoCal desert (not sonic -- these made a big thump at random intervals). They did repel gophers pretty well. Am rather surprised they didn't attract sandworms.
However, didn't do a durn thing against mice. How many mice did we have? bucket of water on the porch (not even set up special for mice to climb into) caught 280 mice in 10 days, and didn't make a dent.
I can hear the sonic repellers, like high pressure in my ears. Figure that can't be good...
Where I am, eliminating domestic food sources would do nothing; there's too much wild forage and grain fields. Same with traps, doesn't touch the wild population. Cats do help around the property, tho, especially against voles.
Yeah, cats will sometimes tease dogs, especially if not raised with them. And as you say cats do their own damages (or why I don't have house cats).
An alternative that reportedly works well -- the old leggy type of Chihuahua that are totally fearless. In Mexico, they're a house ratter. A feral Chi colony in SoCal was found to be living entirely on mice.
I have five barn cats plus a couple ferals, and NONE of them poops in my garden, despite that they do hunt there, and in winter they den under the adjacent work shack. I don't do anything to prevent them, but I do ditch-irrigate, so all the ground is covered with either plants or mud, and the ditches harden up between waterings. (This system also seems to discourage snails and perhaps other pests. I rarely need to do anything to protect my plants.)
As to songbirds, cats do kill a few, but rats will completely wipe out birds, because rats climb up to the nests and eat the eggs and fledglings. (I have personally seen this happen after someone's dog killed all the local cats and we got overrun with roof rats. Within a year a large bird population had zeroed out.) And it's not like songbirds are otherwise free of predators, especially in rural areas. Everything from foxes to weasels preys on them, all the time.
An alternative that my sister's friend had to resort to because of a plague of gophers: got a Jack Russell type terrier (one near to a street dog, not a pet), and didn't feed it. The dog fed itself quite handily (and was not interested in people or attention), and the gopher population vanished.
For one that's more quiet and pet-like but still obsessively hunts, I'd recommend a Patterdale Terrier. Small, but tough (they'll even take on raccoons, and win).
Chickens and cats are a different problem... some dogs ignore them, others can't resist. But I've had a big ugly old cat who stood up to and terrorized coyotes, who generally regard barn cats as a handy buffet.
Different sort of vole problem: couple months back I found one in my freezer. Somehow got in there and couldn't get back out. Good riddance...
Sheep. Sheep will graze down the understory, and trim trees up about waist-high, but they don't climb and strip off bark like goats do, and they're easier to contain than cattle. (At least so long as you don't get Barbados; they're like antelope, only worse. Never saw a fence they couldn't wriggle through.)
If you ever drive through parts of SoCal that are old juniper forest, and wonder why they all look perfectly trimmed up to 3 feet above the ground, that's from the migratory sheep flocks. Also their grazing encourages grass and discourages weeds.
My desert place was on the regular sheep migration path, and so long as the sheep came through a couple times a year, we had grass and wildflowers. When the sheep stopped coming, within a couple years it all went to weeds.
Early summer 2021 -- I ordered about $30 worth of various nut and hardwood seeds. Arrived within a week in good order. I've also emailed them a couple times with questions and got a quick response. So I have no complaints and will order again. 10/10 so far.
Matt McSpadden wrote:A pretty cool idea. Personally I've always like the idea of a walk-through dressing room to get to the bedroom. Just stick a washer or dryer in there :)
That's how some smaller single-wide trailers were designed -- closet, laundry, and hall to the back bedroom were all of a piece, a good use of limited space. (I admit to a fondness for the early 8-wides, and their extremely efficient layouts.)
Since we mentioned dried sweet corn... this year I had way more than I could eat fresh, didn't need more in the freezer, and I have a bunch of ears drying in the garden. Some will be put aside for seed (my preferred variety is not always available) but I've been wondering how best to use the rest, and if it might make a good sweet corn meal for corn bread.
I can grow a lot more potatoes than I can beans; main advantage of beans is dried beans keep forever, but I can rotate potatoes so I have 'em year round (some plant late and stay in the ground for the winter). And if I had to eat beans as a staple, I'd soon run screaming into the woods.
Speaking of winter planting, some sweet potatoes that were too fibrous for me got set aside and forgotten, and instead of going bad, they all sprouted. Not sure if they'll set themselves up and survive in the ground over a Montana winter, like regular potatoes do, or if I need to overwinter 'em in a bucket like I do next year's sprouty potatoes. Well, I have enough to experiment with.
There is a head gate off the main ditch at the top of the hill, but the metal "gate" on my side is seized, and I haven't gotten around to digging it out and trying to get it unseized. (Replacement gate is $700 just for the metal, so that ain't happening any time soon.) At one time it had a big pipe but that's gone, and now there's just a wet spot.
The little ditch (just big enough to wet your feet) that runs down my south boundary comes off the other side of the head gate. At one time it had a head gate of its own down by my "orchard" but that's entirely gone and would need to be completely redone. Also where I can get at it is a bit far downhill to get more than a soft flow.
Right now I've got a couple black pipes in the little ditch, and 2x 500 feet of hose siphoning out of the main head gate, so get some gravity feed that way. But I can't pull enough that way to water the yard and garden and trees AND the pasture, so the pasture just does without.
But I'm lookin' at the spot where I can get at the main ditch, and all that water-power flowing by at high speed, and thinking that if it can be convinced to lift water over the lip, that and some perforated sewer pipe would do the pasture a lot of good. There's enough pressure to run a pretty big screw pump. (There's not really a good place to put solar anything, tho. Would only get a little afternoon sun.)
There's a hollow at the top of the hill, below the ditch, that I've thought about digging down a bit and turning into a pond (more for dog training than for fish, and as seep irrigation for the pasture) but it would need to be lined, otherwise all the water would disappear as fast as you poured it in.
Anyway, those are today's thoughts. Tomorrow I may have different thoughts. :D
Nifty! unfortunately I don't have access to an artesian well, but in a pinch I could use the irrigation ditch where it plunges downhill (tho that's on the neighbor's place). Downside is it doesn't run in the winter...
But my current desire is getting water out of the ditch without rebuilding the head gate... and without running a powered pump. So using the water's own force seems like a good alternative.
Funny thing, when I was looking for info about it, this page came up. :D
So I was just wondering how to make a self-powered screw pump... why not have a paddle on the spiral core so it turns from the pressure of the passing water, instead of needing a donkey? Lots of water pressure in my irrigation ditch; would spin the screw like a propeller.
I've managed to accidentally breed some exceedingly heat-tolerant peas... several of the volunteers are still merrily producing (if anything, more than before) after we hit 104 and stayed hot, while the normal peas are already keeled over and gasping. Since peas are only fit to eat at a certain youthful stage straight off the plant... guess which I will have to restrain myself from eating so I'll have 'em for seed next year.
One ancestor was a commercial "heat tolerant" (not THIS much!) variety, and the other was a sugar-pod type, miscegenated at random but you can tell the cross cuz the pods are normal but grow first, then the peas fill out, instead of all at the same time. They're also very bushy and upright... wonder if the real key is a better root system.
Here's a volunteer stone pine that is about 25 years old. (Note the dead desert juniper to the left, which died about 15 years ago.) Initially it had some water from a leaking wellhead from a house that had burned down, but that dried up about 20 years ago and it's had only the scant desert rainfall ever since. Its parent was most likely my own tree (about a mile up the road), from a seed carried by a bird.
Once saw a dead school bus used to block access -- someone took the wheels off, and set it flat on the ground crosswise to the road. If you've got strategic trees to brace it against, there won't be any dragging or shoving it either.
Artie Scott wrote:So, I don’t feed any more bread to the chickens. Anyone else feed bread to their chickens?
Mine never got bread, but they ate dog food for years, and did spectacularly well. Concrete eggshells and chickens living past 11 years old.
Then I had to switch brands, and several promptly dropped dead (no symptoms, just came up dead). Had a suspicion it might be the soybean meal (some in the new, none in the old). Didn't seem to affect the roosters, tho, only the hens. And most were fairly old chickens.
I just sift out the weevils. They're harmless, and you eat a whole lot of their eggs and larvae without realizing it, because as someone noted they're always in flour. If you shake whole-wheat flour you may be amazed how many shed pupae cases floof up to the top, looking a lot like bran. If the flour starts smelling musty, it's probably time to give it up and get new flour.
But other things to do with tired flour...
-- make dog treats or pig treats (I suppose goats would like 'em too)
-- make glue-on-demand or Papier-mâché
-- use it to soak up grease or motor oil
-- use it to rub off label stickum or peanut butter
-- use it as janitor's sawdust (floor sweeping compound to pick up fine lint and grit that wants to blow around) -- you can re-use it til it starts to clump up
-- substitute for cornstarch in dry shampoo (doesn't work as well, but good enough)
-- fling it into the wind and enjoy watching it poof up and blow away (something downwind will eat it)
Someone mentioned old cake mixes... I've found they keep more or less forever. I've rediscovered a case of forgotten cake mixes that were over 15 years old and still perfectly good (and as waaaaaaaay out beyond supertaster, if they were at all bad, I'd notice!)
When I moved, and had a zillion small breakables and gods know how many swag T-shirts to pack, and that lifetime accumulation of hand towels and socks... I looked at that and said, why should I scrounge up packing material, I already have more than I can use!
Socks are perfect for glasses and cups. T-shirts and towels went between glass plates and other breakables, and down into box corners. And took half the time to pack since it was a continuous twofer.
And on the other end there was far more of "Oh, THAT's where it is!" than normal...
For many years in Montana I heated a 21 foot travel trailer with a sheepherder's stove (miniature cookstove -- cast-iron top but the rest was sheet metal). In the way of old trailers, it had thin walls and very little insulation. The stove had a firebox about the size of a large shoebox (IIRC it was 6w x 8h x 16 inches). The pipe went out the wall (replaced a window) and had two right-angle bends, and the cap was about a foot above the roof. Heat circulated around the stove's oven before going up the chimney, so it was fairly efficient for heat transfer (the main flue rarely got really hot). Quite good for cooking and baking.
In mild weather I burned deadwood, construction scrap, even bones and rolled paper (tho that's a pain to keep lit). This was all free salvage. Riverbanks always have lots of standing deadwood. Cottonwood is my favorite as it burns steady, has high heat value for its weight, and leaves almost no ash. You can bank cottonwood down for an overnight fire without making a lot of creosote; other woods will gunk up your chimney unless they're burning fairly hot. Don't burn bark if you can avoid it.
In cold weather I burned coal. This requires a wood fire under it to start it, but once it's started going to coals, it can be banked down for an overnight fire (a banked block the size of your head burns about six hours). The quality of coal heat is much better than wood heat -- the same temperature feels much warmer. The main drawback is that it's extremely dirty, the smoke is to gag you, and about twice a year I had to open up all the littte stove accesses and one of the pipe elbows, and shovel/scrape out the accumulated ash and residue. Coal smoke makes a ton of deposits -- not flammable but really a pain since they grow like fingers on every surface the smoke passes by. On the plus side, strip-mined bituminous coal is cheap; only cost me about $100/year to keep my trailer as warm as I liked. I could easily keep it 80 degrees in there even when it was -40F out. (Once it got below zero, wood couldn't keep up.) Actually the main problem was that it tended to be too warm (and every so often would wake me up by getting more enthused than necessary, but you can throw water on it and slow it down without extinguishing the fire). Burning coal in an open firebox is a black art in more ways than one.
And of course there was the year all I could get locally was crappy lignite (no good for this kind of stove, won't stay lit and has poor heat value) so had to trek all the way down to the mine in Wyoming to get good coal. (Tho it was free for the picking from the side of the road.)
The trailer came with built-in propane heat (a fullsized wall furnace, not the kind they have now) and that was untenable. The propane furnace had to be turned all the way up to keep it halfway warm, and it was very expensive considering how small the space was -- required about 15 gallons per week. And that was with fully adjustable flame, much less costly than they are nowadays with the flame that is only ON or OFF. (For comparison, when I lived in a Real House in the SoCal desert, I once figured out that my wall furnace, at far-cheaper bulk propane rates, cost me $3 every ten MINUTES.)
I did use the flowerpot-on-the-propane-cooktop trick for supplemental heat in mild weather; that uses very little propane and is no more unsafe than cooking with it. But freestanding unvented propane heaters in an enclosed space will kill you.
If I were doing it today, I'd probably use one of those woodstoves the size of a large overnight bag, with a flat top suitable for cooking, and heavy cast-iron sides; Tractor Supply sells 'em for about $300. They can burn wood or coal and the firebox is big enough to take reasonably-sized wood. My neighbor had one of these and used it to heat about twice as much space as I had (but also with no real insulation), and man was it toasty in there. Too big a stove in such a small space and you'll have a lot of trouble with keeping a good fire going without also roasting yourself. Mine was about as big as necessary for coal; could have been a little bigger for wood. (Cost me $20, so no complaints.)
As to the uninsulated metal walls -- as is that's going to be impossible to keep warm. You need to insulate it on the inside any way you can, and outside block the wind as much as possible. Corrugated cardboard and sheet styrofoam on your inside walls are both excellent for the purpose. Old mattresses, blankets, and pillows also work well. Pretty much anything that covers the wall and traps a layer of dead air will work, and you won't spend all your wood heating up the outdoors. If your flue sticks up a foot or so above the roof, and you anchor it with a bit of wire, wind won't be too much of a problem (at least it wasn't for mine, and I lived in a high wind area, 40mph steady with 60mph gusts not uncommon. It was on the downwind side of the trailer, which probably helped.)
Last place I lived in the trailer, I piled straw bales all around it. That's a common trick for folks in old trailers here in Montana -- so long as the straw stays dry, it's excellent insulation. (Wet it still insulates, but it molds.) But if you're burning wood be sure sparks can't hit the straw -- it can smoulder for weeks before it suddenly decides to make flames and go WHOOSH. If you're in a more permanent situation, dirt works great. Doesn't even need to be a thick layer. I think ideally I would put plywood in a lean-to arrangement, and pile the dirt against that -- that way you don't have moisture against the walls, and there's a big dead air space.
Now I'm an old fart and live in a real house just like a real person, but when I was a young'un, I thought my little trailer was the bomb, and loved the idea of turning a shipping container into a house. Do come back and let us know how it goes!
Pearl Sutton wrote:A picture off the net I have had for years, don't recall where I got it from...
This is what I dream of!! :D
Wow, that's really cool!!
Only problem I can think of is for fruit that turns loose of the vine when it's ripe, like cantaloupe -- would fall down and break open. But a few hanging baskets/buckets hooked to the trellis would solve that problem (at least at the small scale). Or a suspended tarp. Anything so it doesn't go SPLAT.