Michael Cox

pollinator
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since Jun 09, 2013
Michael likes ...
bee books composting toilet homestead rocket stoves wood heat
Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Recent posts by Michael Cox

What is "bleach lighting"? It's not a term I'm familiar with.
3 days ago

Mihai Ilie wrote:
Im talking about the most usefull of them,the silver carp( its the one that jumps when skared by noize).
It is the most ecologically important fish in the world.



Do you have the scientific species name? It would help to find the info.
1 week ago
Sometime things just work out nicely.

A charity I support has a donation matching fundraising drive going on for the next few days. For every £1 given their sponsors match another £1. I have given myself, and encouraged friends and family to do likewise. This morning at work we had out month 100 club draw, to win £1000. The charity ball was drawn, and everyone has agreed to give to my suggested charity. £1000 becomes £2000 just like that :D I'm super happy about it.

Excellent Development: Big Give match funding
1 week ago
I was talking recently with someone about the hidden costs of poverty. The inability to afford necessities is kind of obvious, but she explained what a difference it makes on a practical level.

For example, my weekly shop:
I jump in my car on the way home from work. I stop at the supermarket and do a quick whizz around, chucking in the usual items and a few things that look nice. I'm well aware that taking my time and planning more carefully could result in a cheaper trip, but saving a few pounds at the expense of substantially more time and thought isn't a good deal.

My friends shop:
Her weekly food budget is about half mine, for a family the same size. She avoids driving her car to the shops, because of the extra cost. She has a 20 minute walk each way, carrying heavy bags. When she goes around the shop she takes considerably longer, because she has to shop for bargain, saving a few pounds here and there. Frequently her kids have to come with her, because she her husband is working and she can't pay for child care. Her shopping trip takes twice as long as mine, is far more strenuous, more emotionally exhausting (tired kids in a supermarket is never fun), and more difficult because of how tight her budget is.

This pattern is repeated over and over in all their planning and decision making. They decide where to park based on where is free, so often end up walking a mile to what ever their destination is. They go to multiple shops, instead of just one, trying to save a few pence and buy toilet paper on discount.

I frequently see this type nuance missed from discussions about poverty. The poor work harder everyday, in every facet of their lives, just to participate in things that the more affluent can choose to simply ignore. This hidden cost has a huge impact on health, mental wellbeing, stress levels and general happiness.
1 week ago
You mention motorised tools... I LOVE my battery chainsaw. Lightweight, low vibration, low noise. I use it for loads of regular pruning jobs, but then I'm also happy climbing from time to time to reach troublesome branches. A pole saw version would be amazing.
1 week ago
One trick that is suggested with bindweed is to give it something to grow up to divert it from your desirable plants. For example, a simple stick wigwam just placed nearby. Train the stems onto it when they are young and they will stay put. If you trim them back to ground level you need to keep on trimming them, or they will regrow and attack your trees again. If you do decide to use a more aggressive way of killing them (eg a propane torch, vinegar etc...) then they are bundled nicely ready to use.

I've not used propane torches myself, but I understand that the secret is just lightly singe the leave, rather than burn them away. The heat damaged leaves suck nutrients from the root system as they try to heal, where as more substantial burning just stimulates new shoots from the roots.
The dining hall at the school I teach at did an absolutely amazing beef brisket the other day. Absolutely succulent, melting off the fork.

I asked what time it went in the oven. 9am!!!

10 hours cooking time. I have petitioned for them to do it again :)
1 week ago