Maybe the prior owners never used the oven? Not unheard of (microwave cults for example)
According to Samsung, the burning smell caused by a new oven is due to the "insulation surrounding the oven cavity emitting odors the first few times it is exposed to the extreme heat inside of the oven." This is the smell of a bonding agent curing. Also, if you fail to remove some of the zip ties used to secure the inserts during transit before turning it on for the first time, you may also be smelling the plastic melting and burning.
Appliance maker Belling, on the other hand, explains that the smell and light smoke you may see on the first use is from a protective coating of oil that is used during the manufacturing process.
Whatever the case, new ovens smell. The best way to get rid of the smell is to run a proper burn-in cycle. It's recommended that you not cook any food prior to a burn-in, as the smell (and potentially the taste) can stick with your food.
Don’t under-estimate the power of critter pee to funk up anything and if burned it could be described as “acrid” (don’t ask how I know).
What is the specific model Samsung? One piece of unrelated gas oven advice I got from a fellow who repaired our oven was to never run the self cleaning function. It gets it too hot and burns out the ceramic sensor that regulates the gas and protects against gas flow without flame (bad).
large counter top electric ovens that could handle a 20 lb turkey can be had for under $150.
You could construct a wood burning oven in the back yard and do all your roasting and pizzas in that (add a nearby bonfire in November)
Personally I would look on Craigslist and search for a functional gas stove, leaning towards a top-end 50-60’s model in good condition that parts are available for. A quick check revealed plenty including one add for 2 stoves and a fridge lol.
The acrid smell thing is weird. I’d be tempted to try running it hot while watching closely to see if it dissipated eventually (a couple of box fans running in nearby windows to vent). Has a really close examination of the stove been conducted to make sure something hasn’t spilled inside it? All the gas stoves I’ve had are essentially made of metal, glass and presumably some insulation in the sides so other than new fangled circuit boards and wiring, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of things that could stink up the place. Did Samsung say what the expensive repair might entail?
Not holding my breath but LTA airship design has advanced considerably. One major breakthrough is tech where in order to descend helium is drawn into tanks and compressed and released back into bladders to ascend, giving far greater control and eliminating or minimizing the need for ballast. These giant ships can in theory lift very heavy loads and can land almost anywhere flat or even on water. The design allows them to scoot around on the ground fairly easily. The obvious drawbacks are the rarity of helium and susceptibility to strong winds or storms. One advantage in storms is that by compressing all if the helium the craft will hug the ground, but the infrastructure that creates the large lightweight shell could be damaged by winds, so some form of hanger would need to be provided, but possibly they could land into an open stadium or natural valley that would protect from winds.
Imagine you want to move your family from California to Vermont. Preparing for the move you fill up the container with all your household goods and the FedEx airship arrives and hovers over your place while the container is efficiently winched up into the cargo bay. You could have had the container moved to the transport hub where the airships land to avoid the winching charges, but you decided to go for the convenience. A drone taxi transports your family up to the airship and you get escorted to a second class cabin you booked. The cabin, a modular designed pod type, reminiscent of a trimmed down airstream trailer, are fitted into the ship when needed is relatively luxurious, though tiny. No windows to the outside of the airship, but high definition cameras provide views in all directions outside the airship, the command deck or even your personal cargo trailer. Viewing platforms where you can dwell and observe the world or get a snack and of course the bar is popular. Many hours were passed using the telescopes available in the lounge and at night telescopes can view the starry sky from the comfort of your quarters. The airship takes a leisurely route as it is dropping off and picking up passengers along the way. Cargo drones fly in and out regularly to move all sort of cargo. A farmers crop loaded into a container is winched up right from his field and stored in a climate controlled bay while another properties horses are loaded using a special pod along with their caretaker for the trip. One of the crew members related a story about last years hurricane where they had to lift an emergency hospital pod into the affected area that was isolated by flooding and destroyed highways. They also helped airlift out survivors while delivering FEMA emergency housing pods for the people and emergency responders. The next day they were back to regular transport.
John, can you find a link to any Minnesota law that prohibits non-grid tied solar? Was the solar these friends were inquiring about for their barn a full system, I.E. a charge controller and batteries in addition to the inverter and panels (A far more expensive system)? It just seems the Interstate Commerce Clause being invoked doesn’t make any sense in the context of disallowing non-grid tied solar vs grid tied, as the grid tied has potential for competing power companies and is something some states prohibit. In Minnesota it seems it is subsidized in addition to being heavily regulated. I did see where they are restricting the layout of the panels to allow easier access to the roofs for fire fighters that solar companies have complained about.
Perhaps the worry is that a powerful enough solar system on an accessory building could potentially be DIY’ed to connect back to the grid tied structures, perhaps to provide power during a blackout and possibly causing a serious safety issue with back feed to the utility pole and electrocute those working to restore power.
Lived alone but never isolated for any extended period. In a city you can never truly be alone, though one can tune out all else at times and exist alone-together.
Just finished a book. “The Stranger in the Woods” By Michael Finkel about a central Maine “Hermit”, quotes as many object to him being portrayed as a hermit since he stole from the many empty camps around him to survive. Quite a yarn, but also a lot of pages on hermits generally and examples of human isolation and it’s effects on us.
From chapter 21:
A thousand poets sing of solitude-“let me live, unseen, unknown,” yearned Alexander Pope- but far more people people curse it. The difference between bliss and distress generally seems to be whether solitude is chosen or involuntary. Forced isolation is one of the oldest punishments. Banishment was widely used during the Roman Empire (the poet Ovid was exiled from Rome in A. D. 8, possibly for writing obscene verse), and for centuries a severed penalty on the high seas was marooning, in which the offending sailor was deposited on an uninhabited island, sometimes with a Bible and a bottle of rum. Most such men were never heard from again. Even now, when a Jehovahs Witness is disfellowshipped for breaking church doctrine, every single member of the religion is forbidden from speaking to the sinner.
As I have time I’ll post a few more interesting tidbits in the discussion from the book.
Our figs are prolific producers and have required zero inputs other than occasional watering during droughty periods. We hacked the three trees out of the side of a gravel driveway at a former residence and planted them in our clay yard. They had achieved a height of 8-9 foot before a hard freeze killed them back to the ground (quite a job cutting them back). New trees started up that spring and within two years we had figs again.
I ran your image through The PlantNet app and got the following results in order of likelihood. Both are listed as invasive.
Persicaria maculosa (syn. Polygonum persicaria) is an annual plant in the buckwheat family, Polygonaceae. Common names include lady's thumb, spotted lady's thumb, Jesusplant, and redshank. It is widespread across Eurasia from Iceland south to Portugal and east to Japan. It is also present as an introduced and invasive species in North America, where it was first noted in the Great Lakes region in 1843 and has now spread through most of the continent.
Persicaria maculosa contains persicarin and tannins. The leaves and young shoots may be eaten as a palatable and nutritious leaf vegetable. It is often seen as a weed and rarely cultivated. A yellow dye can be produced from this plant with alum used as a mordant.
Impatiens glandulifera is a large annual plant native to the Himalayas. Via human introduction it is now present across much of the Northern Hemisphere and is considered an invasive species in many areas. Uprooting or cutting the plants is an effective means of control.
The common names Policeman's Helmet, Bobby Tops, Copper Tops, and Gnome's Hatstand all originate from the flowers being decidedly hat-shaped. Himalayan Balsam and Kiss-me-on-the-mountain arise from the plant originating in the Himalayan mountains. Ornamental jewelweed refers to its cultivation as an ornamental plant.
The genus name Impatiens, meaning "impatient", refers to its method of seed dispersal. The species name glandulifera comes from the Latin words glándula meaning 'small gland', and ferre meaning 'to bear', referring to the plant's glands.
The field of grass be mowed no matter how tall with a brush cutter, brush hog. If sparks or chance of fire is a concern someone standing by to put out any small fires and alert local fire service to what is being done and any issues.
Instead of mechanical cutting use a sythe to cut the tall grass
When we freeze my biscuits DW cuts them and inserts parchment paper. That way we can easily split them and put in toaster for quick biscuits. Same for store brought. Otherwise they glue together and can be difficult to split.
For a project like this I might consider relief printing using a durable design material like wood or linoleum. Perhaps not applicable easily to the design proffered, but certainly could produce a more “wood cut” like design, provide durability for many printings and be cheap.
Making a linoleum block print
I cleared about that much space by hand over a period of years, a few weeks at a time and it slow going. My tools at the time were only a small chainsaw and a Sthil weed whacker alternately fitted with the string trimmer head and large round saw type brush blade. About half the time was spent between refueling the devices, restringing the line trimmer, sharpening the brush blades. The Sthil “bump style” line trimmer heads are pretty reliable, but the moment you hit a piece of fence or rock it breaks at the opening requiring restringing. The brush blades I have multiples of so I can swap it out instead of sharpening each time it needs it. With the line trimmers it is important to have a good full harness that makes them easier to balance and less stressful on your back.
One advantage of doing it that manual way is you really are in close and see almost every plant and become intimately familiar with every rock, stump and old piece of metal. The disadvantage is you become intimately familiar with every rock, stump and old piece of metal on your property. A session would go something like this, well a wagon containing all the tools, gas and implements to where you are working. You might start with the line trimmer to get you close into the heavy brush and saplings, running it until the gas runs out. At this point you rake your spoils into a pile, sit down in the folding chair you lugged along and swap out the line trimmer head for brush blade that you sharpened the evening before. After gassing you get in and get some real destruction going with the blade. A good sharp brush blade can cut saplings and vines right at the soil level, avoid what we cal “f sticks” named for the exclamation expressed when you trip over it. The blade can handle sapling up to a few inches, but don’t stay sharp long when cutting down small trees. Vines and such succumb more readily to its persuasion, so perhaps you work around the larger saplings and save them for the chain saw.
At this point you have a lot of brush laying around so you have a session of brush dragging to pile it up where it will live and get shredded/munched and/or burned. I’m a fan of piling and leaving. If there are materials like poison sumac or poison ivy there are additional considerations like assuring they are killed or avoiding toxic smoke or burned. Laying down in an out of the way spot and covering to solarize to death by covering is a preferred method. Having helpers dragging brush (and sharpening blades, restringing the line trimmer, etc.) and be a force multiplier, but great care needs to be taken when anyone is around so you do not injure them. Never had a blade fly off the Sthil, and found it fairly safe for the user, the working end being so far away, but it is easy to swing it around quickly and due to noise and ear protection a person or pet can sneak up within the danger zone w/o you being aware of it. One hazard it flying chips or pebbles that could take an eye out, so safety glasses are a must in addition to ear protection. Chain saw safety is a whole long discussion unto itself.
Chain saw work allows you to get at those larger trees after the ground has been cleared so you can safely work around them. Timber felling is one of the most dangerous professions, even with the right equipment. A small tree can kill or injure just as badly as a large tree. Once had a dead branch conk me on the head pretty good just because I grabbed the tree to balance myself on uneven terrain. Working with a spotter and a phone is important, but adds to the effort unless you have free help available.
You mention the desire to create habitats and doing it manually could allow you to build on what nature already has intended for the land. Willing to bet among all that “poison ivy/oak/summac” there are interesting beneficial plants that could be encouraged. Part of the problem is on an overgrown lot it can be difficult to know what you have until you start clearing it. You seem set on clearing it, so perhaps that isn’t much of a consideration and not much info on the specifics of what trees are there and how old they are (all less than twenty?). I might consider doing a careful survey/cruise of the trees (getting advice if needed) and if going the mulched on skid steer route I would be tempted to have enough done to clear for the plantings and foundation work and flag areas and trees I find interesting to preserve, even if just along the edges.
As to combining the adjacent lot with yours is an important consideration worthy of careful research. Could be more valuable long term kept as a empty building lot, but yearly tax implications could favor combining long term, but would possibly forestall ever selling separately in the future (other have good advice on this).
Owning a two wheel walk-behind tractor with a brush mower has meant I do a lot less of the back Breaking work as the tractor handles all the little stuff. Someone mentioned the DR walk behinds. They are less expensive than my BCS, but I have the ability to add all sorts of implements to the very capable brush mower attachment. Once the lot is cleared you will need to keep it mowed to some degree, so a walk behind would be useful.
Issues I envisage are as follows. Any legal exposure I cannot say, but would assume there would be and that said exposure would be State specific in most cases which could add to the legal fee burden if the non profit wants to operate in multiple states. Given the idea incorporates a PEP system of accreditation, legal liability could theoretically extend beyond the non-profit and its officers (IANAL, so take w/ grain of salt). If the PEP system is seen to violate the Equal Opportunity Act or associated State laws there could be issues there if someone filed a complaint.
For the land transfer as outlined, Is the idea of “Otis” putting the PEPer on the last will and testament a way of avoiding taxes, because it will not work if I understand estate law in most states. For example, let’s say Otis purchased his land for $15,000 in 1979. The current value as determined by the taxing authority is $200,000 (Otis pays a far lower assessment due to his long time ownership). If Otis sold the property, as his primary residence he probably would owe no taxes. If Otis leaves the property to an heir I do not think they would owe taxes, except, because the PEPper is not family Otis is limited in how much he can leave to someone not his family, potentially the PEPper would owe income taxes on the value of the property above the amount the law exempts. In many cases the best way transfer a property is to simply but the person(s) on the deed. Theoretically an Otis could put a PEPper on the deed in such a form so that the PEPper would receive the whole property, or a determined share of the property with the remainder determined by the last will and testament. The above cautions rgdg allowable gift tax exemptions applies still, but could be strung along multiple years. Also, since the transfer would likely be considered not arms-length, any grandfathered in tax reductions may be void going forward.
An area I have issue with in such a venture is the opportunity for abuse by any of the parties involved. Old folks can be notoriously distrustful and what seemed a good idea one year can become an anathema the next. Well intentioned Otis’s can make a lot of verbal promises along the way with the best intentions but when the rubber hits the road they will drop the project like a hot potato. Often someone’s land represents most all they own, essentially their retirement plan and trying to get them to sign away any rights, even if it makes sense and they agreed to it, in the breech they refuse. Health issues late in life can contribute to their fear and even debilitate them physically and mentally so their mental state comes into question. At that point expect a relative who you never heard of come out of the woodwork and challenge the will in probate court. Otis may unexpectedly change his will, leaving some or all of the property to the previously disfranchised nephew from another state. Even if the PEPper manages to defend their share of ownership, there is a good chance the property will have to be sold unless they can buy out the nephew.
Or perhaps the whole setup is agreed to by the nephew who respects Otis desire to leave his land to a PEPper. The PEPper take possession and two years after Otis dies sells the property to a developer. My understanding is trying to control what happens to your land after you die is exceeded hard. An individual can go to the Orphan’s Court and get a whole elaborate deal thrown out for any number of reasons. Even land left to a non-profit that promises to preserve it is no guarantee long term, as your land may be sold in order to allow the purchase of another lot.
Another area of concern is health care. If Otis falls and ends up in a nursing home for 6 months then expires, who pays? If the bill is unpaid then the property could be attached and foreclosed upon to satisfy the costs. A lot of these laws include look-backs of years.
Then there is the relationship between Otis & the PEPper. That seems like it could be a real issue, putting the PEPper in a position akin to indentured servitude. Otis could extract all sorts of favors from PEPper. That opportunity for abuse could go the other way and a resident PEPper could torture an enfeebled Otis who has become totally reliant on the PEPper who in this case turned out to have mental health issues previously undetected by the non-profit. That’s the way the nephew will frame it.
Non-Profits can limp along on almost nothing, but from what we see in the ability to get grants the low end of annual budgets skitters along around $10,000 to $20,000 a year.
Trying to envision what a 35,000 sq ft straw bale structure would look like. [edit; mis-read, you meant Cubic foot] You mention shopping, eating and sleeping. Do you a rough idea of the occupancy numbers you anticipate? Are you planning a commercial kitchen as part of the project? Is the building planned to be in year-around use and if so how will it be heated during the winter? How many bathrooms are you thinking of? How large a parking area would be needed? Where would the water falling on the roof in a season to (potentially over a million gallons in a year by my calculation)? For perspective a commercial building can cost up to $10-$20 a square foot.
One aspect of building a large commercial building on farm land is regarding taxes and any agricultural exemptions currently held. A large building encompassing a commercial venture, even if loosely related to “Permie” activities, could easily be construed as a conversion from Agricultural to Commercial and require payment to recoup past taxes and interest that were exempted. Most States have these type of claw-back provisions, mainly designed to preserve open farmland and prevent wholesale conversion of exempted farmland to housing or industrial use.
Does the town have easy access to zoning and planning meetings and can you research? Knowing what struggles and back and forth arguments regarding zoning have occurred in the past can provide guidance and while often deadly dull to read should be interesting to anyone wishing to avoid being shut down well along in their project.
One avenue that works well is to have an engineer familiar with the local codes consult on any construction. Often a consulting engineer can fulfill a lot of the inspections along the way to prevent delays and misunderstandings by overseeing authorities. Knowing someone who was in the hospital for two weeks due to an un-permitted deck collapse at a party, I fret not about such regulations.
Found a small, slightly faded framed watercolor in the trash once. Upon closer examination I discovered it was by an artist-illustrator who died in 1933 and, this is the weird part, who we already had a painting by!
Below is our shed and while yes, you could theoretically build the equivalent shed for half the cost (discounting your time and effort), but consider: The better versions of these types of structure that I purchased was made in a factory where jigs and forms are used to fit everything together, so the build is of very high quality. I understand the folks who make the board and batten sheds in PA do not make the vinyl or metal types of sheds which are made by other families.
Go to one of these places that sell these (scope out what’s in-stock first online) and make a close inspection of how they are built, the materials, etc. something like ours can easily have a roundwood lean to added onto the side to expand storage space. Another less expensive option might be to go with a Run-In style horse shed and adapt that. Not having a floor might actually be better to allow for insulating, radiant heat, etc.
Weight on the rear wheels while towing is calculated at “tongue weight” as opposed to towing capacity, i.e. the weight on the tow hitch. My vehicle has a Class III hitch with a 2" receiver and 4,500 lb towing capacity and 675 lb tongue weight capacity. The weight over the hitch can change depending on how the weight is distributed in the load.
Paul, congrats on your plans. Those parts of PA are pretty indeed. If I was in your place wanting a small structure I would consider buying a readymade Amish shed or cabin if I could afford it. We have one, a wood board and batten model (10 x 14’ I think) and were very impressed with how well built and sturdy it is. They delivered it on an ingenious trailer that can position it exactly where needed, though placing onto raw land could be problematic without a sturdy road depending on the terrain. The delivery guys were pretty gung-ho and said they would place it anywhere we wanted if we wanted it moved in the future.
No specific recs, but for mowing a friend has a riding mower that lost the ability to mow, requiring replacement of the mower deck, a shaft, etc. that equaled the cost of a cheap mower, but the engine was still good. What he did was to get a three part reel mower that he pulled behind the still functional small tractor that had the mower deck removed. He honestly preferred the results of the reel mowers, giving a very nice manicured look and was faster than the original mowing deck. The drawback was you need to stay on top of the job as a reel mower as longer grass will lay down instead of being cut (I think it preferred mowing 4” grass or shorter, so that is a major factor. He had a neighbor who brush hogged his field the two times his lawn got too long for the reel mower. His lawn looks like a golf course and he puts zero inputs into it (admittedly living someplace where lawns like to exist helps).
Chris Kott wrote:
I have seen some types of plastic sheeting "welded" using an old tea-cloth and an iron set on high. I have personally used a heat-gun that I think I paid $20 for at the time. Check into that, if you have the leeway, as things like reclaimed plastic wrapping or discarded plastic sheeting can be reclaimed and used to great effect, and as it would be free, the material costs would be irrelevant.
Chris, could you expound further on experience with welding up-cycled plastic sheeting as you describe (such as experiences with types of sheeting, joining techniques, pitfalls etc.)? We have tacking irons and heat guns that could be employed and was thinking of such a technique for our planned greenhouse could aid in integrating more found materials into the design. One of our ideas is interchangeable roundwood panels glazed with plastic sheeting that eventually would be replaced by glass storm doors saved from the tip.
Portraiture techniques vary depending on a lot of factors and you could fill volumes on just a few of them. I’ll lend a few tips;
Using a long lens with the aperture stopped down allows you to narrowly focus on the subject and throw the background out of focus, what is known as a shallow depth of field (DOF). My favorite lens for headshots was my Nikor 105mm f1.4 prime, but it has problems and needs repair. The long lens also flattens the features slightly making them generally more pleasing (compare with shooting the same shot with a wide lens).
Focus on the eyes so that features forward and behind (nose and ears for example) and slightly out of focus. This draws the viewer to the eyes of the subject and is analogous to what our minds do while viewing something, i.e. focusing on a detail to the detriment of the rest of the subject. I’ve been in studios where assistants use measuring tapes to get the focus exactly right.
Using available light take full advantage of the magic hour, or the period of time just after and before sunrise and sunset when the light is redder that when the sun climbs up into the sky.
Be cognizant of extraneous aspects of the subject. For example how their hands are placed or the arms, are they natural looking or akimbo somehow, detracting from the composition (got dinged on a project in college on that one).
Do not neglect your composition overall. Many artists will hang their work upside down in the studio for a time so they can get into the composition outside of the subject matter. Or their preconceptions.
Be cognizant of your subjects foibles and insecurities. For example a subject my be sensitive of a double chin which can be rectified by changng the angle.
Modeling of the subject by the light is as or more important than the modeling on a vase, but the same rules apply. If working in a studio do not neglect the extras such as additional fill, or a hair light that highlights the subjects head to delineate it from a background. Often fill lights in a natural lighting environment can be supplemented by something as simple as a sheet or piece of cardboard painted white and placed strategically.
Like many subjects, move close to your subject.
Be aware of anything coming out of the subjects head and being too reflexive in your compositions. Try making it more interesting (again, composition).
Avoid placing the horizon line in the center of your composition, keeping in mind the “rule of thirds”.
Lastly, remember, rules are made to be broken, but you need to learn the rules if you want to be the master breaking them.
I suggest studying the individual weeds and identifying as many as you can before doing any spraying. I am betting that many of them are beneficial or even medicinal. Years ago I felt offended by the diversity of weeds that supplanted the grass in the spring but over the years we have come to enjoy and even embrace that diversity. One thing that pushed me over was while preparing to spray one year some decades ago I noticed the thousands of bugs flying around feeding on the weeds. Never sprayed after that (except for very targeted spot applications to poison sumac or poison ivy). We even hold off on the first mowing because early in the season the bounty of nectar for the bugs is less. If something really looks bad or is too invasive we will dig it up or whack it down with the electric trimmer.
The renewable, emissions free energy device is made up of a concave reflector with a pipe in the centre, which tracks the sun like a sort-of satellite dish, ands the system works in a circular manner. Pumping through transparent tubes, the fluid is heated up by the sunlight, turning the molecule Norbornadiene into its heat-trapping isomer, Quadricyclane. The fluid is then stored at room temperature with minimal energy loss.
When the energy is needed, the fluid is filtered through a special catalyst that converts the molecules back to their original form, warming the liquid by 63 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit). After a series of rapid developments, the researchers claim their fluid can now hold 250 watt-hours of energy per kilogram, which is double the the energy capacity of Tesla’s Powerwall batteries. But there’s still plenty of room for improvement. With the right manipulations, the researchers think they can get even more heat out of this system, at least another 110 degrees Celsius (230 degrees Fahrenheit).
A few bullet points:
1. The molecule Norbornadiene into its heat-trapping isomer, Quadricyclane when exposed to sunlight (UV & blue spectrum so far).
2. The molecule suspended in a liquid can be stored for up to 18 years.
3. When exposed to its catalyst it converts back to its original form and can be reused at least 125 times.
4. Currently the molecule increases in temperature 63° c (113° f) and “at least another“ 110° f (230° f). So liquid stored at 60° f will heat to 173° w/ current tech and eventually over 400° f.
5. The process to manufacture the molecule and catalyst are related to the manufacture of acetylene and uses minimal.
My understanding is that the process has been well vetted and the test results confirmed by peer review. Apparently the group had received development money from investors and are moving towards creating a product. Other uses of the technology are being developed including building panels that can absorb heat and release it on demand.
The most creative use of bones I’ve witnessed was a small abstract painting By a semi-famous painter I once picked up for a museum where the artist had a chicken dinner at the collectors house and took the bones from the trash and a couple of weeks later delivered the painting where he had incorporated the bones into the composition as a gift.