Dave Smythe

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since Apr 18, 2015
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Recent posts by Dave Smythe

A different eBay item has a can with ingredients listed as "raising agents (E450a, sodium bicarbonate, E341), wheat flour"


E450a is various diphosphates: https://www.morechemistry.com/food-additives/e450a.html
E341 is calcium phosphate: https://doublecheckvegan.com/ingredients/e341/#:~:text=E341%20may%20or%20may%20not,%2Dmaking)1%20and%20bones.
1 week ago
You can buy the old cans on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Birds-Golden-Raising-Powder-Tin-1950s-Display-purposes-only/174591801685?hash=item28a67b7955:g:H1QAAOSwUepf11t8

From the recipe suggestions on the back it appears to have been used in mostly sweet recipes. The "golden" may have been powdered eggs to save having to use fresh or for use where none were available??
1 week ago
Welsh cawl sounds similar to what in my family was called Irish stew (as in the old music hall joke: "Irish stew in the name of the law!") and consisted of mutton or lamb chops, potatoes, onions, and carrots in a thin broth.
My old family recipe is too simple to have been written down and is just an oral tradition spanning at least 4 generations in my family. We make it at least 5 or 6 times a year. It tastes better and is easier to make than apple pie.

Apple Crumble
8-10 apples, core, peel and slice, then place in the bottom of 9x13 dish
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
Mix topping and crumble over apples evenly and bake 350F for 1 hour.
Optional in season: blackberries.
Serve hot with ice cream or cold just by itself.
1 week ago
Some easy to make puzzles are pentominoes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentomino
and the soma cube: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soma_cube
1 month ago

Ask for insulation blankets, the Chinese initially started using external straw blankets that were rolled down over the greenhouse at night and rolled up during the day.

They have now switched to synthetic materials with electric motors that raise and lower the greenhouse blankets.

I recommend internal thermal blankets. I used shade cloth made out of polyester plastic suspended underneath the plastic face of my greenhouse to provide a hade in the summer and reduce heat loss in the winter.

Recently I’ve switched to a new material called Aluminet.  It’s a UV  protected polyethylene material that’s aluminized. It makes an excellent shade cloth in the summer and it radiates infrared radiation back into the greenhouse at night and cold winter days helping to maintain a constant temperature.

Welcome Dan!
Thermal blankets raised/lowered via electric motors would also be ideal in managing a SkyTherm roof that is designed to both heat (in winter) and cool (in summer) a dwelling.
In winter the blanket is rolled up/opened during the day for solar gain and closed at night to keep heat in. In summer the reverse is done, roll down during the day to avoid heat gain, but then roll up at night to allow heat to radiate into the open sky.
The design requires thermal mass or possibly phase change materials to retain heat/cool high in the structure immediately under the glazing.
Do any Chinese use this to moderate their house temperatures?
2 months ago
Are you aware of https://www.lhba.com/ and their method of building log homes out of green logs "nailed" together with rebar spikes?
You can quickly build a structure 20x20 or 30x30 etc from your available timber. These homes sell for good money so you can make a living building them.
You would need to pay for their (now online) course but from all accounts it is worth the money many times over if you end up building this way.
I know you said you didn't want to make big design changes but I wanted to at least make you aware of the Log Home Builders Association https://www.lhba.com/ and their butt and pass method of building with whole trees/logs pinned together with 1/2 inch rebar spikes driven vertically into the logs.
They have a lot of experience with all aspects of this design and if you pay for their 2 day course (not sure if they are available now with Covid) you would have access to their collective online wisdom.
There are also several blogs online that go through whole builds. They recommend new builders build a small 20x20 or so structure first to learn the system before embarking on a 30x30 or 40x40 building.
I am not sure green building is their priority but they strike me as fairly green.

PS here is a direct link to their gallery page of homes they have built : https://www.lhba.com/student-homes-gallery
7 months ago

Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:

Sometime when you have a few minutes, can any of you describe "pleasant temperature" a little more fully? would an elderly person with poor circulation feel comfortable?  Are you staying bundled up much of the time? are there certain pockets of time when you're cold until you've gotten the fire going?  Thanks!

I can provide a data point/opinion here as I am "over 65" and have been experimenting with the thermostat setting in the house I moved into recently.
At 62F I feel cold normally dressed and need two fleece jackets to feel comfortable. At 68F I am comfortable with one jacket which is my normal winter wear.
I'm not sure how far below 62F I could go and still feel comfortable by adding more clothing layers (long johns etc.).
There are videos on Youtube of a setup called Burrow Blocker that fills the holes with a water/sand slurry.


You could also do this on a small scale by the 5 gallon bucketful.
Wonder if ground squirrels make good avocado fertilizer?
1 year ago
One scheme for thermal mass water that I have not seen discussed on Permies is the Skytherm roof designed and built in the 1970s.
Idea is to have a roofpond that is covered/uncovered as appropriate to gain/lose heat depending on season.
Supposedly this maintains the otherwise normal house in the 70s year round in a hot summer/cool winter location in Atascadero CA.
Practically this means having some kind of water container from bottles or gallon milk jugs to larger ones like commercial bladders for liquid foodstuffs in/on your roofspace.
The roof is glazed with a transparent cover such as polycarbonate corrugated panels.
To gain heat in the winter you uncover the water containers during the day and cover at night with insulation to block radiating heat away.
To lose heat during the summer you do the reverse, cover during the day to prevent thermal gain, and uncover at night to allow heat to radiate away.

2 years ago