Gick or no, a mattress warmer is incredibly efficient when you look at its miniscule electrical consumption. Electric blankets are too, but not everyone (and particularly not me) likes that heavy sarcophagus on top of them. Add a dual-zone heat controller and domestic harmony follows. My 2c.
I am facing this with a 15 year old rescue hound. His mobility is so hard and painful that I know a long winter of ice and snow will border on cruel. His hearing and eyesight is fading; but his enthusiasm and loyalty is unwavering; his body has let him down. I am in no hurry, but his time is near, and I will not allow him to suffer. I hope someone will have equivalent courage and compassion when my time comes.
Cindy, I confess that your post leaves me breathless with your enthusiasm ... and the amount of work involved.
Although I am always intrigued by the notion of "rebuilding civilization after the apocalypse," in practice it's more than most humans can achieve on their own.
The John Ford "Wagons-Ho!" narrative is a lovely fiction. Humans thrive and survive as communities, farms and villages bound together, and have done so long before written history.
So, in answer to your question, I would add as a vitally essential skill: "The ability to build and foster community, a sense of common cause, support in the face of disaster, and honest trade in skills and goods, for the common good."
Rudy Riske started a hillside flower garden at age 85, in a patch of swampy weedy public land. It's in a rough neighbourhood in Toronto, notorious for many social problems. He pulled weeds and thorns, built terraces, endured thievery, and at 95 still goes out twice a day, seven days a week.
I love this. I hope I'm doing the same at 85 -- let alone 95. Go Rudy!
Aha! It appears that sustained temperatures of 50degC are required, hence the industrial composting requirement. There is an actual certification standard and test; but whether that's mandatory I cannot say.
"ASTM D6400 is the standard specification for solid material biodegradation (by composting) required for the labeling of plastics designed to be aerobically composted in municipal or industrial facilities.
The series of ASTM D6400 is a four-part biodegradation test for evaluating biodegradability that includes elemental analysis, plant germination (phytotoxicity), and mesh filtration of the resulting particles.
The ASTM D6400 test method uses a set of conditions that favor microorganisms that thrive above 50 degrees centigrade, making the test method somewhat selective for bacterial based biodegradation. This component of the test method does favor bioplastic types of materials, and may not provide for testing parity when comparing the ASTM D6400 to other test methods such as the ISO 16929. In addition, the method is not meant to represent composting conditions in a home compost facility, as the composting temperature requirements are not likely to be achieved in a home facility over an extended period of time."
Hmm. Wonder what will happen if I boil this stuff next time I have waste heat.
Good idea. I assume you're sucking air through the filter (not blowing) since that is how the filters are intended to be used? I've tried a single filter in the past but the fan really strains. Not enough airflow I guess.
I feel for you guys. It's like being under siege, and plants grow funny. This is the first summer in a long time where we haven't been plagued with fire smoke. Instead, we have mold and mildew on everything from an incredibly wet summer. Pfft.
Few folding shovels pass the "Doug Test." I open them up, hold in a 45-degree digging position with the tip on the floor, and surreptitiously put my body weight on it. If there's flex in the blade, forget it.
I found one years ago at Lee Valley tools. It wasn't in the catalogue. It weighs a ton but at least it works. The 90-degree "grape hoe" function is sometimes handy.
Contractor grade floral shovels with shorty handles are actually much better value, and weigh less.
The best deal is a $2 yard sale shovel with a cracked handle. Chop it short and sand it down. Voila, now you've got a real shovel that fits in your car.
One option worth mentioning: it's possible to buy a modest, structurally sound house for a dollar and pay the cost of moving it. This often happens when mature neighbourhoods are going upscale -- it's cheaper to give away the old, small houses than to demolish and landfill them.
Matt, I think you're on to something. I would suggest involving a licensed contractor early, so that details like setback from flammables etc. are addressed pre-construction. Better still if your contractor understands masonry stoves in general. And yes, chimney installation by a pro sounds like a reasonable compromise.
I wonder if mentioning to your insurer that you're planning a custom-build masonry stove would be helpful?
BTW, I get that this "checkbox" is mostly CYA (and PITA). But I've seen some scary amateur stove installations too.
I used to harvest first and then switch to seed production. But poor spring conditions wiped out my scarlet runner bean seed stock, so this year I have several poles that are focused on seed production only. (Note that I'm in a zone with a relatively short frost-free period.)
So, this year, I'm doing it in reverse. I let large beans form and fill, undisturbed by me, right from the start. Now, I can tell the plants are focusing on seed because the blooms are much reduced. At this point, I think I can harvest the small beans from the tops of the tripods without interfering with seed production.
It's actually a thoughtful approach, rather than a hatchet job.
The authors correctly raise questions as to gaps in our understanding regarding the mechanisms involved, and what further research is needed to evaluate biochar meaningfully.
Some of what they say matches my experience, regarding the initial fertilizing effect of unwashed char and issues of raising pH too much in temperate soils. I'm sitting on the western sedimentary basin, and the limestone base means that our pH tends to run high.
I was short on time but stopped in at the market anyway.
Changed my location, so people could stand and dance a little. Catchy beat seems to appeal. (Doesn't help that my voice is still not in great shape.) Market was pretty quiet overall; I guess that's a fall thing.
The take: $8.00 for 35 minutes work. Plus 2 peaches and a pear from the fruit vendor. So I'm making minimum wage anyway, plus bonus points from DW.
(I also did this as part of my "trapline" so the gas covered many errands. And on the way I sharpened kitchen knives for a lovely granny for $5.)
Jason, a note of caution. If I understand correctly, your well pump motor is rated for 230V. You should not run it on 120V. The motor will run hot and perform badly, and is at risk of premature burnout.
I would not touch it for indoor use. A basement flood is a soul-sucking "adventure."
For outdoor use, it's worth a look. With a serious crack, though, I don't think it's worth much more than its value as scrap metal (i.e., by the pound). Unless it has other cool and functional stuff attached.
I can't answer your question but I can sympathize. We've had a wet year and we're plagued more than usual with mosquitoes and slugs. They really do suck the joy out of summer sometimes; when it's cool enough to go out, it's too buggy. That's why I'm a spring and fall person.
John F Dean wrote:I have done remote solo hiking in Maine, The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Grand Canyon, and the Canyonlands of Utah. In the last one, I remember, after being out over a week , and spotting a couple of hikers from a distance.... I actually altered my path so I would not have to speak to them. For me, there is a special solitude in desert hiking.
Wow. I am hearing massive echoes of Colin Fletcher's mini-essays on walking and solitude in The Complete Walker. (Mine is TCW-III, very well thumbed, which I rebound many years ago with a drill and a speedy stitcher sewing awl. Damn, that man can write.)
Matt, I like the idea. I think insurance will be a lot less pissy if the whole combustion unit is outside the insured building, at an appropriate distance. In fact, I'm sure they would tell you what they require if you ask about installing a forced-air, outdoor, custom-built masonry furnace.
This was the playlist for my first busking adventure. It's a challenge to hit a broad audience, so I chose material that crosses over well -- a little folk, a little country, a little blues, a little rock-and-roll. Any suggestions/requests?
Hit the Road Jack
Call Me the Breeze
King of the Road
Five Days in May
Give Me the Beat Boys/Drift Away
Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
I've Got a Dog
City of New Orleans
End of the Line
Six Days on the Road
Stray Cat Strut
Down and Out
Folsom Prison Blues
Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay
Raindrops Keep Fallin' on my Head
Horse with no Name
Heart of Gold
There was also some subtler stuff I wanted to do, but nobody would have heard it without amplification, unless they stopped in the middle of a busy walkway to listen (the location issue again).