As it happens I do have sleep problems. For example, parasomnias. Not ghosts, but weird stuff. Like sometimes I don't have the GABA and glycine muscle inhibition that prevents me from acting out my nightmares. That's real bad.
Did you know that the word nightmare comes from paralysis that sometimes comes when one wakes up? You can't move anything except your eyes. Its terrifying. People assumed that an invisible horse was sitting on them to keep them still. Anyway, I've had that too. And sleepwalking, sleeptalking, sleep driving.
But the worst is circadian rhythm disorder. Left to my own natural schedule I'd go to bed around 6am and wake up around 3 in the afternoon. That doesn't fit too well with modern society and has led to a whole host of problems. Ive compromised and I go to sleep at 2am and wake up at 9am.
But im not here to talk about that. Rather, to discuss bifurcated sleep. In preindustrial times it was common to have tea and snacks around 1am. Neighbors would light a candle to let others know it was ok to come over. You'd stop by for a chat in your nightdress, have some tea and a chat, then amble on back home for the rest of your sleep. This is also a brain chemistry thing called hypnagogic state. It is where your alpha and beta patterns are both active so you oscillate between wake and sleep states. If you surge past hypnagogia into wakefulness, you go out for tea or read a book or something. Get out of bed. Low lights. In a half hour or so your beta waves will assert themselves again and you can fall back asleep. It's a thing. Normal. So hop out of bed and wait for the next sleep train.
ABBA's "The Winner Takes it All" pretty regularly finds itself in the lists of top breakup/loss songs, and it's hard to argue.
In my opinion, "Number One Blind" by Veruca Salt is about being so paralyzed by depression that you can't tell if it's night or day, and don't even care about the answer:
MIKA's "Happy Ending" is despondency in a bottle.
But I am more interested in songs whose upbeat tempo belies the abject despair of the content. Take ABBA again. "If it Wasn't for the Nights" has one of the catchiest disco hooks ever. But every word of the song is about succumbing to despair and loneliness.
I miss you so, I know I'm never gonna make it
Oh, I'm so restless, I don't care what I say
And I lose my temper ten times a day
Still it's worse when the night's on its way
It's bad, oh, so bad
Somehow I'd be doin' alright if it wasn't for the nights
(If it wasn't for the nights I think that I could make it)
I'd have courage left to fight if it wasn't for the nights
(If it wasn't for the nights I think that I could take it)
How I fear the time when shadows start to fall
Sittin' here alone and starin' at the wall
Leigh Tate wrote:I included a link in a post using the URL button in the post editor, but it displays as code instead of the link. I tried it twice, with the same result. Here's a screenshot showing the post editor and the preview.
As far as I know, I filled in the URL dialog boxes correctly (i.e the same way I always have), so is this a glitch in the behind-the-scenes software? Or is there something else I could have done? I can't figure out how to fix it on my own.
(I removed the sentence from the post, since it wasn't essential anyway.)
Can you post a link to the forum post having the problem? It is difficult to diagnose from a picture. You can do that by right-clicking on the gold post-it icon next to the purple timestamp on the post and copying the link location. You can post it as plain text is you want. :)
What you're witnessing is a barrel vault configuration. It is a perfectly legitimate style of oven, even though as you rightfully realize it differs significantly from a pompeii style pizza oven.
The barrel vault configuration does not have the vortex of fire up top that leads to a white-hot oven. The central chimney draws off a lot of that heat. It has "cold" spots. All of these are considered benefits if cooking pizza is not your only aim. Bread bakers, pie makers, barbecuers, etc will appreciate the temperature differential and the radiant heat as opposed to the direct flame vortex of a round oven. Pizza bakers want it hot, white hot, everywhere, with no loss of heat. It can be 24 hours before a pompeii oven is cool enough to make bread or pies.
Personally I like the round chamber with the antechamber which houses the chimney, but I'm all about pizza first and bread second.
I can't speak to the masonry. Maybe he used refractory cement, who knows. That is the one legitimate gripe I have. It is better to leave the bricks unmortared so you can replace them. But it seems like the oven mason did an OK job to me.
John F Dean wrote:This is spun off from a discussion in another thread. It would seem that many people on this site display varying degrees of introversion. I found myself writing that for me three truly was a crowd. So I have become curious, at what point do you feel you are in a crowd? That is, when do you begin to feel uncomfortable?
Each number of people has its own energy, from just me, to two, to three, up to 50,000 people all in the street celebrating, protesting, what have you. I love them all. The largest crowd I've spoken to was ~5,000 and that was invigorating so I don't know if there's an upper limit. Probably but I don't know what it is.
I've given this some thought. Where I've landed right now is that the first thing I would do in a new homestead is put up some sort of temporary workspace (carport, quonset hut, something) and then the first thing I would build from that would be a few solar heated dry kilns. Then fell lumber and process it, and stack it in the kilns. After that I could begin the work of actually creating the homestead, hoping that by the time I'm ready for the lumber it will be ready for me. Virginia Tech (a few hours from where I'm located) states that a kiln full of lumber dries to the proper moisture content in one month.
This is all theory, because I don't have practical experience with it.
Eric Tolbert wrote:We currently live in a city, on a typical suburban lot, about .25 acres. Good news, it's on a corner so it's slightly larger than the surrounding lots and I only have two neighbors actually adjoining and they are both super chill about my backyard "projects". I've got mini-hugels, a pond we're struggling to seal properly (almost no clay in the soil at all, weird, huh?) and lots of plantings going on. Comfrey, mint and horseradish are super happy (the wife not as much with those plants). Who else is homesteading in the city? What issues do you run into?
I also am "homesteading" in the middle of a city. I don't really think of it as homesteading, because that seems like a grandiose term for what I'm doing. I look at this all as building skills for when I do get land and I'll have a better idea of what works. I still rely on the grid and grocery stores and the farmer's market.
I think of it like other skills. When I was starting out with painting, I didn't make a 4x6 foot canvas. I made a 4x6 inch canvas and figured out how paint works. I didn't make a rocking chair when I started woodworking. I made a simple toolbox. Doing the simple toolbox taught me how to use the drill and the saw and glue and clamps. So when I have to make a rocking chair, I'm doing it with some skills in place.
So in this scenario, I think the moment you have planted one seed in the ground and watched it grow, you've gained a skill. The moment you think about the growing seasons and plant different plants, another skill. I've recently learned about rooting plants in my windowsill. Next I'm gonna learn about air pruning.
What I've learned about urban homesteading is the principle of least surprise. I have three 8' x 4' raised beds in my yard. They look like normal raised beds, maybe a little higher than average. In reality they're 5 foot by 4 foot hugel beds only with a sheath of wood around them to make them look like raised beds. I use gazebo corner posts as trellises, like any ponds with pretty rocks and flowers, cover my Dakota fire hole with a pretty (and shallow) fire bowl to give the illusion of shallowness, cover the intake hole with a decorative pot, etc. Basically try to make it so anyone coming by will not see a bunch of holes in the yard, but instead see some order and what they expect to see.
This isn't out of fear but I do live in a city. Kids, police, petty criminals, homeless people, census takers, canvassers, fiber optic construction people, UPS drivers, contractors all could be walking around my yard at any given moment.
I'm dealing with the aftermath of a trespassing dump and run. They left a cubic yard of red mulch. This stuff is dyed with rust. There are two types: certified and non. Non certified is usually construction refuse whereas certified is leftovers from the logging industry.
This is certified, which means its a no toxic mix of shredded limber branches and rust. But i don't really like it. So what can I do with it!
Jenny Jones wrote:This is a great thread. I do feel that we need some updates as the world has changed since 2018 when this started.
That's a great point. Social distancing and mask wearing brings new challenges are we have to face those. It wouldn't hurt us men to be creative with our masks. Maybe a subtle signal that indicates we're single and capable?
"Behind this mask I'm doing the dishes"
"Behind this mask I'm mopping the floor and listening to a Little Women audiobook"
"I washed this mask myself when I did laundry without being asked"
For women its even simpler, as a previous poster pointed out:
Jordan Holland wrote:Just finished hanging another axe and took a few pics of sharpening. I was going to do the onion thing but Rob beat me to it! Maybe sacrificing a patch of hair is proof enough for Douglas?
I dont usually apple a BB post because I can't approve them but I just felt like this needed an apple on it.
r ranson wrote:That's another thing I'm thinking about - how long would it take to learn to make high enough quality items to satisfy me? I'm very fussy about quality and am expecting these to last 50+ years barring accidents.
And then I'm thinking about replacements. I don't need everything to be identical (or I would go with Denby Ware) but matching a theme is the goal. So they all 'go together' as a set, but are each unique with variations of colour and stuff.
I also want stacking (one goes easily on top of another without falling over) as opposed to nesting (one fits inside the other).
I'm wondering if I'm just too fussy for a pottery artist.
Yeah, how long would it take... that's why the central question is: do you want to learn claymaking? Because you're gonna be putting in some hours to learn the art. I did four weeks of wheel throwing and was able to make a couple 4" high vases.
Claymaking rewards precision and detail so your fussiness could be a strength.
It also means more time. You want to have half a century of use, which means you need to be an expert on structure, clay uniformity, glaze adherence, etc etc. You also want a precise, repeatable shape. That means throwing 8 bowls for each keeper. Also if you want a dozen good plates, make 18 in case there is a firing or glazing incident.
Thinking about replacements.... that's where the glaze recipes come in. I don't know how long glaze keeps but maybe get extra of the right ratios of powder and store them.
The glazes coming out as green might have to do with the clay, if there are any trace elements of copper. Stoneware has impurities whereas porcelain generally doesn't. That's why it commands a higher price and its glazes are more vibrant. Porcelain is white and reflects some of the light back through the glaze.
If all you are interested in is obtaining a set of dinnerwear that will stack, find an artist you love and support them. If you want to have control over the whole process, make a vase and see if you like claymaking.
r ranson wrote:In a few years, I want to replace our dishes with handmade plates (two sizes), bowls (two shapes), and mugs (various sizes - depending on how much we like the guest - guests we like get the big mug, guests we want gone, get the small). We need six of each item, and probably more of the plates and bowls in case of breakage. Maybe add in a couple of cooking pots because matching.
That's a lot of pottery.
Why handmade? I can customize it to the style and size we use. And the colours. Support local - even use local-ish clay (there isn't much clay on our islands so it usually comes from the mainland)
But most of all, I like handmade pottery best.
The decision to make: Do I learn how to make my own or do I hire someone to make it?
Moneywise, I suspect it's going to cost the same - expensive. I'm going to have to save up.
Timewise, I don't know if I have enough time to learn these skills.
Skillwise, I'll have a new skill if I make them myself.
But time... time seems to be my most limited resource these days.
There's a studio near my work where I can rent time and the owner does one on one coaching (basically hints for success). I can also buy a lesson time by the hour. Use her tools, it includes glaze, and clay is freaky cheap if I buy from her.
I don't know. Just putting it out there as it's something I'm thinking about lately. I figure our current plates and stuff have about 5 more years before they start cracking - cheap boxstore bowls have a very short lifespan.
I majored in claymaking in college so here's some takeaways.
If you don't have access to a clay studio, it is almost certainly more economical and less stressful to purchase. You'd need a clay mixer, kiln, wheel, shelf space, a few glazes, etc etc. Plus, you're supporting an artist! I have an entire suite of handmade stoneware I bought thirty years ago that is still in beautiful condition.
Except for the mugs. Those all broke.
You do have studio access. So the next question is, do you want to learn claymaking? If not, the answer is almost certainly to purchase. Claymaking is a lengthy process. Creating the clay in the muller takes an hour or two (unless some is already made.) Shaping it takes hours. That time is zenlike, but also can be extremely frustrating and you might have to start over. Then you have to let the pieces try (a couple weeks of passive time) then do the bisque firing. Then you glaze the pieces, then the high firing. High firing alone takes hours. If the glazing didn't turn out, you need to start the whole process over.
If you do handbuilding for your china, such as square-ish bowls and mugs and stuff, handbuilding is pretty easy to learn. You could be off to the races quickly.
If you want thrown forms, such as rounded bowls and mugs, you need to learn the wheel. That can take weeks of wheel time to get the consistent results you want.
If you decide to go for it, take careful note of the glaze recipes you come up with, including manufacturers, colors, percentages, thickness of application, etc. Glazes all look gray, and there's no way to remember what you did last time.
I spent countless hours in the clay studio and I can tell you is is both peaceful and irritating, and it takes time to get things right. You have a very specific goal so your time curve might be shorter.
Beth Wilder wrote:I've bought fabric from Spoonflower
Spoonflower! I walk by their headquarters often, and many of my colleagues have worked for them off and on. They're both a manufacturing shop and an information technology shop if you think about it.
For fabrics, I do know one thing, besides avoiding JoAnn's Fabric and Crap: Avoid fashionfabricsclub.com (aka Fashion Fabrics). Also Denver Fabrics (which is also Fashion Fabrics) and lots of other sites which are even still, you guessed it, are Fashion Fabrics. They have a ruthless, deceptive online presence which is backed up by terrible customer service, bait-and-switch, incorrect yardage, etc.
Mike Haasl wrote:Beats me but it does look thistley. How about if you save seeds from one more plant (that you can identify) just to make your BB submission perfecter?
Happy to do that. In the meantime I have identified the plant as tall thistle. Its endangered because people in the Midwest confuse it for Monk thistle and destroy it. Tall thistle is particularly beneficial to pollinators so i did include it in the seed bombs. Thanks for pointing that out!
It's been awhile since I've posted something stupid. Not counting the "Peen and sharpen a scythe" BB of course.
Anyway I was considering an Appalachian Trail solo hike so I was doing a lot of backpacking and ultralight gear tweaks. I got deep into alcohol stoves. Back then there wasn't a wealth of information on these. Aside from two tried and true designs (the SuperCat and the Penny Alcohol Stove) you pretty much had to experiment and see what combination of stove/pot/stand/windscreen worked for you.
The SuperCat is a catfood can with holes punched in it. How barbaric! But the Penny Alcohol Stove... thing of beauty. Three sections pf pop can friction fit together, a pressurized ring of blue flame jets, a copper penny as a pressure regulator.... This thing was like a gas stove burner in your pocket. An engineering marvel. I was all in. So much so that I'm credited in the official stove instructions.
I took it on several camping trips and hikes, making coffee and oatmeal and what have you. But I grew restless. I started to experiment.
Part of designing alcohol stoves is side by side testing. You have to set up a few stoves, light them, and see how long they take to boil water. So I went onto my back porch and set up a few. Primed them each with 3/4 ounce of alcohol and timed the boil. But it started to rain. Strike those results.
The house I was in at the time had a huge, ancient, white enameled stove with a huge expanse of bare stovetop to the side. A perfect place to resume the experiment.
I took my trusty penny stove back out and primed it with 3/4 ounce of alcohol, and lit it.
There was a silent pop and a whoosh. A nanosecond later the walls resounded with thunder. A perfect arc of blue fire was burning from my kitchen floor, up the wall, across the ceiling, along the stovetop, and then.... huh. My hand's on fire. I lifted my hand up to my eyes and watched in fascination as my hand burned with blue flame. Dimly I was aware that my ears were ringing, and that I smelled singed hair.
That's when my brain caught up. I doused my hand under the faucet. I batted at my smouldering eyebrows and the line of blue flame across my chest, which was starting to eat charred holes through my fleece. I wetted a dishcloth and smothered the flames on the walls and ceiling.
Then I noticed the crumpled pieces of the stove, and the nasty red welts on my hand, and realized that I'd been inside of my first explosion! I felt kind of proud.
It turns out that the penny stove is a pressurized design. Everything is fine unless you light it twice in a row. There might still be pressurized gasses in the chamber, and relighting it instantly combusts and expands the new alcohol, which has nowhere to go.
My SuperCat stove has been serving me well for years.
I used 1/2" chicken wire to line the bottoms of my beds and stapled it to the insides. I'm not 100% sure it will keep critters out but it's better than nothing. I have definitely heard it said, as John just did, that hardware cloth is superior to chicken wire.
I'll certify this BB complete but I don't think that's a dandelion...
Oh, that makes so much more sense! Do you have a suspicion of what it is? If it's not dandelions then I might not be able to use it in the seed bombs.
ETA: From what I can tell it looks like thistle. And given the state of the plant it's hard for me to identify whether it is a good or bad thistle. So I'll remove it from the seed ball candidates and plant a few in pouts to see what it is. Tall thistle is beneficial for pollinators. Monk thistle is a noxious weed.
I harvested these seeds in preparation for making seed bombs. So I'm not storing them at all. However I do typically store seeds in envelopes or jars, then those envelopes are in airtight containers, then those containers are put into metal boxes in a cool, dry corner of the basement. But I did label them for you:
Hey Chris, welcome to permies! I experienced a lot of the questions you have. I also tried to glue seams in PVC and it just did not work.
I just read through the previous replies. Let me tell you a few things. One is that it does not matter how long a billboard tarp is exposed to the elements, it will still leach potentially toxic chemicals. (In fact the longer it is exposed to sun, the more readily it breaks down.) Not just from the printing ink (which is bad) or the antifungals (which are bad.) But also because the plasticizers in PVC itself are an analog to human growth hormone. They readily leach into water. That means if you eat anything that swims in that water or grows from that water, you are feeding your body with artificial growth hormones. For most people that's no problem, but the rest could have weird side effects. (strange hair growth, acne, in some cases cancer.)
If you never intend to eat anything from that water, the news is still not good. The PVC cements will last a long time but not forever. Think pool floaties. That's basically what you are trying to do. Creating a giant pool floatie with no holes.
If you are going pond liner at that scale, your best bet is DuraSkrim. It is virgin polyethelyne with no plasticizers or side effects. It is UV stable, triple layered, and reinforced. It comes in very large sizes. It can be heat welded to make a watertight seam as strong as the material itself. It is expensive.
That is why the most popular and trouble free method is gleying. That's where you have a bunch of pigs wallow in your intended pond location until the soil is compacted. They basically act as a flocculant. This works best if your soil is heavy in clay or if you import bentonite clay. There's a lot of debate about whether bentonite is environmentally responsible but in truth you can't know unless you know the source.
If you don't have access to pigs you can gley by using organic matter such as grass clippings or straw, lay them in a thick mat over the pond bed, then suffocate them in order to make them anaerobic. They will break down into a gelatinous, watertight layer. You then put more soil over top to protect that layer and then you can fill the pond.
This is a complex issue but I hope some of that helps you.
I have an almost identical situation, except mine has four beams to make a pitched roof, but no material on it.
Here is what I've tried, to no effect:
1) stapling plastic sheeting. Degraded in the sun.
2) nailing down outdoor upholstery fabric. Did not withstand the wind.
I haven't given up but I am re-evaluating.
In your situation, I think you have a really great opportunity to make that platform a cozy, bloodsucker-free oasis. When I was backpacking more than I do now, I made bug nets for my hammocks out of sheer voile window panels. They are cheap, relatively tough, and mosquito proof. If you have basic proficiency with a sewing machine you could stitch multiple panels together. Although in this case, I don't even think you need to. You could just put up curtain rods and hang the window panels as designed.
Another possibility is a king-sized 4-corner-post-bed canopy made of sheer voile. You might not have to do any work at all.
I do not know if mosquitos are smart enough to fly up ten feet in the air, hop over the curtain rod, and back down to you. If they are, you'll need some sort of roof. I can't advise you there.
Mike Haasl wrote:
Also, can anyone give us an easy way to verify a scythe is dull to begin with and sharp to finish? That is, an easy way from 2000 miles away to verify that a submission did result in a sharp scythe.
Thanks, Mike! That's the real issue here IMO.
I think my video looks awkward because it was awkward because I was holding the scythe vertical with one hand and trying to sharpen it with the other. To get the video under two minutes requires vicious cutting. You don't see me clamping the scythe to the bench and using proper whetstoning and such. There simply wasn't any time to fit all of that in. I was going for light and humorous here, and missed the mark I guess. But I can assure you, the scythe is in good shape.
I used two cameras to try to get an overhead angle as well but most of my effort was offscreen. Hard to aim and focus a camera mounted to the ceiling. So I don't have that to show.
And that brings us back to the real issue that you brought up. See, the scythe wasn't really that dull. I had a whetstone as advised in the video and the blade never really got dull. I did nick the ground twice and warped the tip a bit, which is what I peened flat.
So how would I show that to you, and what would I show after? I've always used the paper test, as I did in my knife sharpening BB. The paper is clearly ragged at the beginning, and clearly not ragged after the sharpening. I disagree with some of the comments in this thread that slicing paper is a bad test. It's the most universal test I know of. But in this case, with a blade that long, how do I show you the issue?
Even if I had to do the video over right now, I wouldn't have a better answer. If you are like me, your axes, hatchets, and knives never get dull. I don't want any mistakes and the fastest path to a mistake is a dull blade. ( I could dice onions with my axe right now. :) )
I never mind someone calling me out for doing something wrong. I'm here to learn. I don't mind constructive criticism.
Also if you didn't like this video you're gonna *hate* the "make a pizza" video. :)
Brian Kerkvliet wrote:I don't even know where to start with on this. The guy likes to make crazy videos... with bad information content which is in my opinion worse then no content. Because people may get the wrong idea and think this is how it is done.
1- American scythes can not be peened to sharpen, you must use a grind stone. they have different steel and will crack if peened
2 - Never use a ball peen hammer it will distort the blade
3 - Always take the blade off of the snath
4 - Never listen to someone who starts out by saying "this is the first time I have used one"
5 - I can pull a piece of paper through my dullest blade and cut it, it proves nothing
That is just for starters
I will be the first one to admit that I'm not sure how to do this. Which is why I said that in the video. I also tried to indicate such with the first few frames where I clearly do not know how to use a scythe.
The BB is "peen and sharpen a scythe." That means you are required to peen it. They are very specific with these requirements.
I watched the video where the guy puts the nicked part of the blade on a flat anvil and uses a peen hammer to draw the nick away from the body of the blade. That's what I did with the dent in mine.
The rest of it is that I treated the scythe blade like I would my knives, which is to use a honing steel to get the blade edge straight, use sandpaper and whetstone to bring the blade sharp, then oil it. People have told me over the decades that they don't like the way I use my honing steel. All I have to say for it is my knives are dull before I begin and razor sharp after I finish, so that's what I do.
Now I am totally willing to hear that this isn't the way, and learn how. Pointing out all the things I did wrong with no advice otherwise is not very helpful. I watched the video and tried to follow those principles. I can promise you the blade is not distorted. It is very clean and sharp.
Also, I'm wracking my brain to figure out where you got the idea that I'm posting this as a how-to.