dave brenneman

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since Jan 14, 2011
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Recent posts by dave brenneman

S Carreg wrote:I have this great tool but I dont know what it's called! I found it in the shed when we moved in. It's a flat metal blade that is thin and flexible and not actually sharpened, but sharp enough if you see what I mean. it has a curve at the bottom and then comes up straight to a wooden handle, you use it for chopping at ground level, swing it like a golf club. If you or anyone you know is even a novice metalworker you could make one of these out of scrap, I can post a pic if you like?

does it look like this?

I've heard that called a "weed whip", it may have other names as well.
8 years ago

Paul Cereghino wrote:Who here as eaten Tilia leaves, either T. cordata or T. platyphylla? Are they pleasant or starvation food? Over what season are they palatable? Anyone actually browsed livestock on this tree? Any comments as to value? Just for roughage?

I understand it coppices well, produces a tea in the flowers and provides good bee forage, so I am already curious.

I've eaten the leaves; it was late spring/early summer. I agree that they're a bit "mucilaginous", much closer to spinach than lettuce. I'd probably mix other things in with my salad. I am certain they'll coppice well, as any of the ones around here that have been trimmed have loads of little saplings springing up from the stub of the branch.
8 years ago

wayne stephen wrote:Just saw a Youtube video on Appropedia. "Tandemonium Rowing Machine Blender". Makes smoothies and cuts down on Gym fees too. Wish I was savy enough to do a link.

That's an interesting idea. Is this the video you were talking about?
8 years ago

LaMar Alexander wrote:

If you are interested in the cabin design and my off-grid systems you can see my vids on youtube:



LaMar, there's a slight problem - the missing "e" in youtube broke the link. http://www.youtube.com/solarcabin should work.
9 years ago

Sterling Morrow wrote:Though Ya'll might be intrigued by this. I work part time at frito lay, and can get stale corn chips, they've been quite an aggressive fuel when thrown in my garage rocket mass heater, it's been up to 700 degrees in just a few minutes.

wow. that's amazing.
10 years ago
Note: this post has descriptions of killing rodents.

We had numerous mouse issues in our previous apartments. Here's what helped me:

1: reduce their reason to get inside. Seal up dry goods in jars, make sure counters and floor are clean of food bits and also dry - they will visit around the sink to drink water.
2: make outside seem like a better choice. Is there a woodpile or some other appealing habitat mice could go instead? Is a cat or terrier an option?
3: remove the ones that do show up. I opted for lethal traps rather than catch and release. I didn't have as much luck with snap-traps, so i made up one. It was single-use only before resetting, but remarkably effective, though a little on the grim side.

Supplies: Semi-rigid plastic bag, like a pretzel or crisp bag. Large trash can. peanut butter. water. scissors.

Fill trashcan about 1/3rd to halfway full. This can was about twice the height of a 5gal bucket.
Take the plastic bag and cut the two bottom corners off at a diagonal. This is to allow water into the bag.
Small dab of peanut butter goes in the bottom of the bag. Bag is balanced halfway off the countertop, positioned over the trashcan, before you go to bed.

Either my partner or I would hear the bag rustling and then fall into the can. I would get up, go in the kitchen and kill the mouse as quickly as possible. The water is there as a failsafe; the first version of the trap didn't have water in the bucket, and when I came out to the kitchen, the mouse was jumping around frantically before it was dispatched. Falling into water is no treat either, but at least that way if you don't hear the trap, the mouse will drown.

If the idea of executing the mouse by hand is troublesome, remove the bag and pour water+mouse down the toilet. We only did that once or twice; each time the quantity of water was sufficient to send the rodent down the drain.

This trap is my adaptation of what my dad told me they used to do to get rid of rats in the barn when he was growing up: something similar to this method

I had a remarkably high success rate with this method; the only thing that was comparable was glue traps, which I really don't like to use. When we used glue traps, I would make sure the mouse was dead before tossing the trap, but that still meant the mouse was stuck there all day until I checked the trap. A friend has seen people pick up a glue trap, mouse still alive but adhered, and toss it in the trash. That's downright cruel, if you ask me.
10 years ago

Chad Ellis wrote:unno2002,

How was the canopy advantageous over lots of blankets?

well, you're creating a smaller "room" that will warm up with breathing/body heat, yet is still permeable enough to allow oxygen in.
10 years ago

Walk Hatfield wrote:We use hydrogen peroxide for cleaning up tile grout and moldy spots on wood.  Hydrogen peroxide, when sprayed on a surface with vinegar, boosts the disinfectant quality of either product alone and will kill e-coli better than chlorine bleach (I think it was the University of Nebraska that did research on this)

Thanks for that - I did some poking around and it seems that Susan Sumner, who was at University of Nebraska, now at Virginia Tech, wrote about it in the 29 Sept 1996 issue of "Science News" - Here's a link to a scan of the article.
10 years ago

paul wheaton wrote:neat pig butchering stuff: http://anatomyofthrift.com/

The link returns this message:

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit. Please try again later.

10 years ago
That presentation on good vs poor layers was incredibly helpful.

The chicken poop one - I think I would need lots more examples of "healthy" before I could identify "problem" examples.
10 years ago